Memorial Day

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While feasting on our BBQ today, let’s take a few minutes to remember all the Veterans who have served our country.

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After all, Memorial Day is in their honor.

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A Busy Little Mind

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I’ve been thinking about boredom, and how I just don’t understand it.  Whenever my kids would tell me that they were bored, I offered to give them chores.  After all, there are always cleaning activities.  Of course, when those activities were on offer, they suddenly were no longer bored.

The definition of being bored includes being impatient and/or dissatisfied because you don’t have anything to do, or you are just not interested in anything.   http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/bored

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The very idea of being bored is pretty much a foreign thought to me, and I tend to have no patience with people who are bored.  After all, as far as I’m concerned there are unlimited amounts of things to do, subjects to study; books to read; and ideas to write about.  I’m not saying that I’m always busy busy busy, since I do spend a lot of time thinking, reading and writing.  It’s just that time is so limited, there are so many things to do, how can you be bored?

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Are you often bored?  The only time I feel unsatisfied with how I’m spending my time is when it comes to those rotten tasks like Spring Cleaning.  If you do find yourself being bored what is it that you do to occupy yourself?  Leave your comments below.

Segregation – Part 10 – Social Issues Series

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In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared in its unanimous decision in Brown v. the Board of Education that segregation violated the 14th Amendment.  Thus forcing all schools to desegregate.  https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/brown/brown-brown.html

Of course this was a great win for all Americans as it created diversity in education, leading to all races coming together in that great melting pot which has been America since the arrival of Europeans.

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However, this was fought against by various groups, and the battle has gone on up to the present time.  Cleveland, Mississippi has fought the U.S. Justice Department for fifty years for the “right” to discriminate.  The schools there have been segregated with two high schools, one mostly white and one mostly black.  The middle school and junior high school  are also segregated in the same way.  The school system has been ordered to consolidate the high schools into one; along with the consolidation of the junior high and middle schools into one school.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mississippi-desegregation-idUSKCN0Y724L

The link below provides a lot of information regarding this case, including the timeline and a thorough understanding of the background and the actual verdict from the court.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/17/us/cleveland-mississippi-school-desegregation/

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Have you heard of this case before?  I know that ever since President Obama was elected many people have stated that there is no racism in America.  Do you believe that segregation doesn’t exist in America?  Leave your comments below.

 

 

Fear and Computers

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Wait, is this a thing?

As I get older, there are some things that I feel have bulldozed over me on their way to getting bigger and better.  The best example of this is computers.  I had a Tandy when they first came out years and years ago.  For those of you who don’t know Tandy had Word Processors.  This was a great milestone indeed.  As a writer I loved the fact that I could simply change a few (or many) words without having to re-type the entire story (or poem).

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Yes, it’s called being competent!

At work, I decided that I needed a computer, talked my boss into getting me one, and then after it was set up, my boss was less-than-thrilled to realize that I didn’t know how to use it.   I only needed about an hour of reading the instruction book, and I was good to go.  I even taught myself to use Lotus so that I could generate graphs and charts for my boss.

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However, we now come to today.  When the time rolls around for me to update my security program, I look forward to it with fear and loathing.  The programs today are really user friendly, so all you have to do is what they tell you to.  How difficult is that?  Well, apparently it’s too intimidating for me.  I get so worried that I’m going to do something wrong and break my laptop.  At some point I stopped checking out all the programs on my computer and only use the ones I absolutely need.  There was a time that I had a fairly good understanding of what the different programs did, and could use them if I wanted to.  But, somehow along the way I got to scared that I’d “break” the computer and stopped trying new things.  I really think this is how people get “old”.  They let new or different things scare them, and they don’t bother to check new stuff out.

This is how I was when my son got his first Xbox.  Until I watched him play.  It looked like such fun that I did learn to play Fable.  From there I graduated to Skyrim and now I play Destiny on my Xbox One (yes, it is mine, a gift from my son).  The first game I learned how to play was Ryse: Son of Rome, and from there I went to Destiny.  I also have Elder Scrolls, but I’ve only played that one a few times.  I’m much too OCD, and am worried that I’ll never eat, sleep or get up off my couch again if I really start playing it.  At some point I will start playing it again, since life does not begin and end with Destiny.  (Wait, what?  It doesn’t?)

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Do you think that’s how people get “old”?  They get much too intimidated by anything new and don’t try them?  Let me know in the comments below.

Libraries – Books Available for All – Part 8 – Social Issues Series

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I love libraries.  I go to my local library at least once a week.  When my kids were little we were there approximately three times a week.  There were story times, many different programs during the summer, and even movie times.  It wasn’t unusual for my kids to prefer the library to an afternoon at the lake.  As a matter of fact, if given the choice, they always chose the library.

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Our town is little and rural.  We’re a small community with limited resources, and when it came time to expand the library there was a lively debate.  One of my neighbors claimed that “no one” goes to the library.  I asked her when she noticed this.  She was unable to answer, since she rarely even goes to the town office buildings (where our library is located).  In order for our library to apply for an expansion grant, they needed to take a count of how many people went to the library for approximately six months.  The findings were rather interesting.  Our little library was the one in the entire state that had more people visiting and taking out books and/or media of any town our size and smaller (also including many larger towns).  We did in fact receive grants, one from the state and another from the federal government, ensuring that we were able to expand our building.  For the past six months, our library has been located across the street in a much smaller building.  Hopefully the library expansion will be completed soon, and they will be able to move back into their actual building.  I for one, can hardly wait.  You would think that because the library is in a much smaller building temporarily, that there would be less people going to the library.  I’m sure that’s the case, however whenever I’m there, it’s fairly crowded, and we’re all eagerly anticipating the move back into the newly expanded building.

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The reason I’m sharing my library experience with you, is that there are people out there who are trying to take your local library away from you.  Now, why would that be?  Many libraries have an Inter-library Loan System which means that if you want to borrow any book that your local library doesn’t have, you can borrow it from any other library in your state that does have it.  Not only can you borrow it, but they will bring it to your library for you.  You don’t have to drive two hours away to borrow the book.  This is great, and it makes all the books in the state available to you.  In my state I am also able to borrow from the state university library, thus opening up a rather large array of books on a variety of subjects.  This comes in handy when I’m researching a subject for a book that I may be writing.

https://rulenumberoneblog.com/2014/04/07/the-republican-attack-on-federal-funding-for-libraries-and-what-you-can-do-to-stop-it/

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Now, we all heard the argument that since everyone has access to the internet, libraries are no longer important.  That belief falls apart when you realize that one in five people in the U.S. do not have access to the internet.  Also, I and many other people go to the library to borrow books.  Most people in this country cannot simply buy any book they are interest in reading.  There is a majority of people in the U.S. who are living at or below the poverty line.  Buying books is not a choice, however borrowing them is.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/3/16/1502390/-The-Koch-brothers-vision-for-American-includes-destroying-your-public-library

What do you think about public libraries?  Do you use yours?  Let me know in the comments below.

Singing to my Dogs

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Just not everyone wants to hear it!

 

I have to confess.  I sing to my dogs whenever I’m at home alone with them.  I will sing nonsense lyrics in various styles.  My favorite is opera, which I tend to sing quite loudly.  When the weather is nice and the windows are open, I try to sing in a less exuberant manner.  So, you may ask if my dogs like to be sung to.  Well, I don’t really think that they like opera.  They often look at me as if I were insane, (that’s actually a good question).

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I also sing while I take them for a walk.  This can, of course, lead to a few embarrassing moments.  Usually when I walk them during the week, no one is out and about.  After all, I do live in a rural area.  However, this nonsensical singing did, in fact, lead to one embarrassing moment recently.  I was happily walking and singing while trying to rhyme my lyrics – leading naturally to some silly lines – when I suddenly realized that I was not alone.  I was walking near some solar-energy guys who were putting up panels at the house I was walking by.  Once I realized that I was not alone, I stopped singing, and said hello to them.  They then clapped and whistled, telling me that my song had made their day.  I was a total diva and curtsied, doffing my invisible hat.  I then continued on my merry way, but didn’t sing again until I was sure I was alone.

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Of course, the one thing that I haven’t confessed to is that I have a terrible voice.  I have an extremely flat voice.  Seriously.  I think the only reason that I’m not tone-deaf is due to my playing the flute for many many years.   My mom and sister have really good voices, my dad is tone-deaf (that doesn’t stop him from singing) so I’m sure that’s where my charming voice comes from.  I also sang to my kids when they were young, and if I didn’t remember the actual lyrics, I simply made them up.  This lead to some strange consequences when my daughter was positive that the real lyrics to “Hush Little Baby” were the wrong ones (informing her teacher that she was wrong), and the ones that I made up were the right ones.  She was very upset with me when I told her that I had indeed made the lyrics up.  Hey, I can’t help it if I get “creative” with lyrics!

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To make matters even worse, I’m one of those people who sit in the car at red lights singing along to the radio while playing air guitar.  I try to reign myself in when I’ve got passenger’s, but seriously, we only have one life to live, and singing while playing air guitar is one of life’s little pleasures!

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So, my question to you is, am I the only one who walks around making up songs?  Does anyone else sing to their dogs or cats?  Let me know in the comments below.