Sunday, June 30, 2013

The great re-visit

Way, way back in 2009 I wrote a ramble concerning the vaunted cell-phone. Wow, this blog really has been around for awhile. I blathered at that time the state of the communication industry when it comes to the use of cell phones. Well, we now find ourselves in the year 2013, and what has changed?

For starters, no matter what we had thought of the industry back then, its service has exploded. I would guess communication is at an all-time high. Even with that, less and less is likely said. I still avoid using the damn thing as much as I can but the world intrudes. I do use the text more than I used to, however difficult it has become as I still am the proud owner of a flip-phone.

I still think this is the most over-used device in the history of the world. What passes for communication is nothing but mindless gibberish. Back then, I performed an experiment. I took several days to observe my fellow motorists as they drove down the highways and byways of our great city. I decided the winner, or loser in this case would be the first gender to have 100 talking on the phone as they drove. It was men versus women, one on one. I gave up on the experiment when the women totaled 67 and the men 32. This week, I decided to revisit that experiment.

In just a few short days, I am ready to again crown the women the winners: 31 to 11. It isn't even close. Women are the Queens of talk, no matter where, no matter when. I don't think the introduction of the smart-phone itself has changed all that much, other than I can now watch a couple or a family eat dinner at a restaurant and never exchange a word or a glance. I think I'd find it hard to eat if I couldn't let go of a phone.

Four  years later, and I still just don't get it.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Yesterday, June 23rd was my birthday. Yea for me! For most, this number, the double-nickel, the Nixon speed limit, likely doesn't mean anything. It is not some monumental number that lurks in the hearts of most as we slide down the slippery slope to the rushing of the fatal waters below.

I have never fought the numbers as I have grown older. They have simply never seemed all that important to me. I never cringed at '30'. I never quaked at '40', and the first senior citizen number of '50' had no impact on me emotionally. While this birthday seems to have a similar effect with little impact, it is giving me pause to reflect on the numbers of age for a minute or two.

Traditionally, the next milestone in birthdays is '60'. From '50', I am now officially half way there. There isn't a turn around sign ahead. It's full-bore go baby. As I remember my life history, my father quit smoking at '55' after many years. It was not long after that he had heart surgery. Okay, that one is a life-stopper to think about although he did live to the age of '75'. I believe he would have lived longer had there been the kind of attention to life issues we have now, way back then. It was simply a different era when talking about health and weight and all the other issues we face as we grow older. It's not simply 'in the genes' as his brother is still living at the age of '90'.

Perhaps '55' gives me pause as it is on the signage for the senior discounts. Now, I'm all about saving money but I don't even think of myself as even '50'. In my head, I 'm still somewhere about '43' or '44'. Perhaps it is my outlook; perhaps it is simply I don't feel my age. I can still do everything physically I could do back then without lingering aches and pains that is supposed to accompany this age bracket.

Chronologically for me, '55' seems to be some sort of crest, or tipping point where I have to face the facts that I am perhaps slightly past a middle-aged person's prime number. In the past, middle age was always ten years older than wherever I was. I don't think I can say that any longer.

Oh well, at least I can get a senior discount at the restaurants. I guess there's a bright side after all to turning the big '50+5'.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer book release

Just a quick note to all those who follow this blog either casually or religiously. (And I really appreciate that over the past few years). Next month, July of 2013, I will be releasing a new fantasy book; Sands Of Nevertime. It is the first in a new series titled The Last Elf Prophesy. I hope you look forward to the coming release as much as I do in presenting this work to you.

Here's the cover....

I'll keep you posted with any updates on my website

Again, thanks to all.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


A happy Father's Day to one and all. On this momentous day where all fathers enjoy a little round of servitude from their children, a random thought popped into my noggin about naming rights; a child's name.

In my family we have very few if any 'juniors' in our lot. There are a couple who share the same first name as their father; two that I can think of off the top of my head, but they by definition are not juniors. I believe for that to be the case they must also have the same middle name. (I think). I think that might be one of the reasons I have never quite understood the need to name someone after yourself.

I noted the other day a commercial that featured Dale Earnhardt Jr. Although he is accomplished in his own right, it is difficult to perform to the standards of ones father, specifically when ones father is considered one of the best race drivers ever. Think about that for a moment. What kind of pressure are you putting on your son who bears your name? Even if successful, that's a difficult legacy to live up to.

And then there is the opposite issue. What happens if ones father is a total and complete train wreck? If that were the case you have now saddled your child with a reminder of his father as a failure for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, others will routinely make the comparison, often behind your back. Not a great way to try and lead your own life.

And I guess in the end, that's what it's all about. The child should be able to lead his own life and not fall beneath the shadow of his father, be it good or bad. I suppose there are always those who want their child to be just like themselves and there is nothing wrong with that. However, that doesn't mean you have to name your child after yourself.

I think the measure of esteem one garners as a father can be expressed if one's son then names his own child after his father. There lies a measure of respect and love and still lets the grandchild live without a shadow.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Over-used excuse

There was a news article today that showed up on my feed about another reported 'bullying' event. This type of story seems to be the hot button of late. While it is sad there are so many of these stories reported, I also think it is becoming an excuse for nearly everything someones child faces that they are unhappy with.

There have always been bullies. Hell, there were bullies back in the days of my youth. There have been bullies since the dawn of mankind when one caveman figured out he was bigger and stronger than the caveman sitting next to him. Guess what? He picks up his club and 'whacks' him.

What makes this case different is that it wasn't bullying at all. It was a crowd reaction at a state tennis championship. A teenager who was playing in the state final went to school in one state but apparently lived in another. I'm not sure how that happens, but it is what it is. The crowd was openly rooting for the girl who lived in their state. According to the news story, nothing was thrown onto the court, nor was the girl physically threatened.

The match was moved to another court but the young lady and her family simply got in their car and drove home. At that point, she forfeited the match. The father claims it was bullying. I hate to break it to the father, but that is sports at every level from small little children whose parents are raging jackasses, all the way up to pro sports. If you're the 'visiting' team, you're not the favorite.

Is bullying a problem? Yes. Is it something that will ever go away? Not likely, but it's time some people who blame everyone else for their problems learn to, as my dear niece would say, 'get a grip'.