Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Life hacks?

So the current theme that seems to be running through social media are things called 'hacks'. There are life hacks, cooking hacks, winter hacks,  etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. (I've just always wanted to write that out instead of the abbreviation).

I read one this morning that was about making your home more comfortable for the upcoming winter months. I suppose it's nice that someone takes the time to give these tips to everyone. Of course I would hope they didn't put too much time into them, because by reading them, I can tell they didn't.

Here's one; don't leave your exhaust fan running. It will cause your furnace to run longer. Wow! Really? Here's a tip from me, don't leave your windows open either on a winter's day. It will make your furnace run longer. Turn off your air conditioning. It will make your house cold, and then you'll need to run your furnace.l

Another tip was to get your furnace tuned up. Gee, I would never have through of that, to have a major piece of equipment in your home looked at that has gas and a flame professionally tuned before you put a match to it to light it. Another, put a piece of toilet paper in front of your windows to see if they move. Okay, I would assume you could feel the damned cold coming through the major gulfs in your home if it is moving any kind of paper, thin as it may be.

I suppose that since I grew up fixing things and learning how to repair my house and cars and just about everything else I ever had, these types of articles speak to the lack of common sense in the populace. I've never had the money to just go out and buy something to replace something that broke. You had to try and fix it first. I believe the lack of common sense is often in direct relationship to the fact that most people don't know how to fix nearly anything they own. The older I get the more and more I see this same lack of skills in the younger generations.

There are exceptions of course. People who live out from the cities often have much more skill than the city folk. If you live on a farm or simply in a rural setting, or the mountains, you have to rely much more on your own skill set.

Here's my own winter hack for you on this day before Thanksgiving: shut the door, you'll let the cold inside and it will take longer to cook the turkey. And, if you are one of those who feels the need to deep fry your bird, OUTSIDE people .... OUTSIDE.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Enjoy, I'll be at work...not that I'm bitter or anything ...

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A world away

Our world is still spinning, still turning beneath the sun. It is a constant. What is no longer a constant is the security of the world beneath our Sol. But, it never was. In my lifetime our country has almost always been at war in some form or another. At fifty-seven years old, I was born shortly after the Korean War which was five years removed from the largest military conflict the world had ever seen. I've lived through the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the First Iraq War, the Second Iraq War that really hasn't ended, the invasion of Afghanistan and so on and so on.

The difference in the latest conflicts is critical. We no longer fight against a government with a land mass. We fight against an ideology, one that is foreign to me. I am one who abhors the taking of life under nearly any circumstances, however to let a thief come into the night to wantonly slaughter innocents is one of those circumstances that must be defended against.

Radical extremists rape the world through fear. They have no grounds to defend, only an ideology. That in itself is part of the problem when confronting them. Where do you strike back? At whom do you strike? Whether you believe in that ideology is up to you. I for one do not. We as civilized nations describe the attacks against Paris as perpetrated by barbarians. In that context, I agree.

How does one then defend themselves against an enemy that has no borders? As a people that has restricted their military actions in the past it is time the United States and their allies take the gloves off, and unfortunately fight as they fight. If innocent civilians are targeted by extremists, they must run the risk of facing the same reaction. Surgical strikes are no longer an option. Bombs must fall wherever the radicals reside. Unfortunately, if that means innocent people die, that is a risk they must take. We can no longer let our enemies hide behind the skirts of innocents.

We must protect ourselves before we worry about protecting others. If enough of the innocents get tired of dying, perhaps they will stand up to the bully in their neighborhood. Me? I don't see it happening. Isis hates simply that we exist, yet they strive for the same reasons, to have economic power over what they claim. We can no longer afford to take a knife to a gun fight and expect the results to change.

And may God have mercy on our souls.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Crap Show

Hello everyone. I'm back from a very rare weekend off from work. Yup, it doesn't happen very often. It's been a long year. So, what did I do? I went with My Beloved to a local craft show. I have a friend who calls them crap shows.

I haven't been to one in several years, although My Beloved has. In my line of work I'm usually engaged on the weekends. I don't get out much. This particular show is rather large in the area and draws a good amount of people. They have everything from the standard woodworking entries to the goat-milk candles and soap and all sorts of sewn goodies. It's interesting walking around seeing all the handiwork. Many of these folk are very talented.

And that's where one of the rubs comes in. How many times do you find yourself at one of these types of shows and overhear someone saying, "that's too much. I could do that." My answer to that is, well, go ahead. Take the time, take the effort, buy the materials, the paint the cloth the wood the iron the nails ...
Don't disparage another persons time and effort because you think you can make one better or cheaper. If you won't buy it, nod and smile and move on.

It's the same thing as writing a book, a short, a poem. The author puts themselves out there for everyone with an opinion who wishes to criticize every little hick-up, plot twist, scene or character flaw they work into the story. Most of the reviews I see that aren't the five star kind pick apart the little things without offering constructive crits, or they read a book and find it distasteful due to some belief they hold whether it is religious or political. Hey folks, it's the authors story, not yours. If you want to put your thoughts out there for the world to criticize, please do so. One must have a thick skin for this business.

I did find out something about my own tastes. I found I tend to walk past booths where the color schemes are pastel or lend themselves to jewel tones. No matter what the product the artist was offering, those tones did not influence me to even look. I found I am drawn to darker and richer tones. Those were the booths that drew me in even if I had little or no interest in the products.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.