Thursday, December 14, 2017

In Memorium

Five years ago today at 9:10 A.M.  I was in an examination room at my kidney doctor's office when the nurse came in and said "weren't you a teacher at Sandy Hook School?" When I replied yes, she said, "you've got to see this."  I went into the waiting room where they have a TV and, well, the rest is history.

Like all things of this nature, it seems like yesterday that we were learning of this horrible tragedy.  In the five years since that very bad day the Congress of the United States has  done absolutely nothing to safeguard against future occurrences of this nature. More's the pity.

A moment of silence for 26 angels.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pearl Harbor Day

On this day 76 years ago the United States entered World War II which in case you did not know had actually started two years before in Europe.


Here are some interesting facts about this important day in history.
  • The attack commenced at 7:55 A.M. on Sunday, December 7, 1941
  • The attack lasted 110 minutes, from 7:55 a.m. until 9:45 a.m.
  • The Japanese launched their airplanes in two waves, approximately 45 minutes apart.
  • The first wave of Japanese planes struck Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. The second wave reached Pearl Harbor around 8:40 a.m.
  • The Japanese attacked the United States without warning
  • When Japanese Commander Mitsuo Fuchida called out, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” (“Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!”) upon flying over Pearl Harbor, it was a message to the entire Japanese navy telling them they had caught the Americans totally by surprise.
  • The Japanese traveled 3,400 miles across the Pacific to execute their attack on Pearl Harbor
  • The Japanese attack force stationed itself approximately 230 miles north of the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
  • Plans for a surprise attack against the United States were begun as early as January of 1941.
  • The Japanese forces were led by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo
  • The Japanese fleet consisted of 353 planes
  • The Japanese used the codename “Operation Hawaii” for the attack on Pearl Harbor. This later changed to “Operation Z.”
  • The Japanese specifically chose to attack on a Sunday because they believed Americans would be more relaxed and thus less alert on a weekend.
  • Many U.S. servicemen were either still in their pajamas or eating breakfast in the mess halls when the attack on Pearl Harbor began.
  • U.S. servicemen identified the invading planes as Japanese because of the “meatballs,” what they called the large, red circle (the Rising Sun) on the side of Japanese planes.
  • The Japanese only attacked the ships at Pearl Harbor Naval base and airplanes at Hickman Airfield, leaving surrounding areas such as repair facilities, the submarine base and fuel oil storages areas unharmed
  • The Japanese struck the airfields at Hickam Field, Wheeler Field, Bellows Field, Ewa Field, Schoefield Barracks, and Kaneohe Naval Air Station.
  • The United States aircraft carriers, the primary target of the attack, were not at the base at the time
  • Because of this, the Japanese cancelled a planned second attack
  • There were eight battleships at Pearl Harbor that day, which included all the battleships of the U.S. Pacific fleet except for one (the Colorado).
  • Seven of the U.S. battleships were lined up in “Battleship Row.”
  • All eight U.S. battleships were either sunk or damaged during the attack. Amazingly, all but two (the Arizona and the Oklahoma) were eventually able to return to active duty.
  • Four of the American battleships stationed in “battleship row” were sunk. Another was capsized and a sixth run aground
  • The Arizona exploded when a bomb breached its forward magazine (i.e. the ammunition room). Approximately 1,100 U.S. servicemen died on board.
  • After being torpedoed, the Oklahoma listed so badly that it turned upside down.
  • During the attack, the Nevada left its berth in Battleship Row and tried to make it to the harbor entrance. After being repeatedly attacked on its way, the Nevada beached itself.
  • To aid their airplanes, the Japanese sent in five midget subs to help target the battleships. The Americans sunk four of the midget subs and captured the fifth.
  • 11 other ships were sunk and 188 planes destroyed
  • 2,343 men were killed, 1,272 were wounded and 960 left missing
  • A total of 2,335 U.S. servicemen were killed and 1,143 were wounded. Sixty-eight civilians were also killed and 35 were wounded
  • The Japanese lost 65 men, with an additional soldier being captured.
  • Only 28 Japanese planes were shot down and 5 midget submarines sunk
  • The United States declared war on Japan the next day as FDR gave his famous “Day of Infamy” speech to Congress
  • President FDR made a last minute edit to his speech, changing “a day that will live on in world history” to “a day that will live in infamy”
  • The U.S. declared war on Germany and Italy on December 11, after they declared war on the U.S.
  • The dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki helped bring an end to World War II in 1945
  • There was a floating National Monument erected on the hull of the sunken Arizona in 1962
  • There is a conspiracy theory that FDR provoked the Japanese attack in order to sway American opinion and make it possible for the U.S. to enter the war
  • The United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941, the day following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • “Remember Pearl Harbor!” became a rallying cry for the U.S. during World War II.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Updates

Just a note to let you know that my web site has been updated with new pictures and a sand sculpture slide show.  Be sure to check it out.
georgeswebpage.com

Friday, December 1, 2017

Welcome DECEMBER-and meteorologically, the first day of winter.

Well, it's that time of year-WINTER.  For everything you've ever wanted to know about winter, click here. Some really 'cool' stuff (sorry).
georgeswebpage.com/almanac


Sunday, November 19, 2017

[Washington Post] 'We dare defend our rights': Alabama Republicans standing by Moore reflect state's tradition of defiance

The title of this piece says quite a bit to me.  It's what the Alabama republican party is saying about Roy Moore, their embattled candidate for a vacated senate seat.  They're contempt for Washington is greater than the fact that Roy Moore is a liar, bible-wielding hypocrite and a disgusting pig.  What's one to make of such a profound lack of logic?  Any answers to that question?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day. It was once called Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I. The Armistice was signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.  At some point in the early 50s it was changed to Veteran's Day.

In talking to children about Veteran's Day I've found there to be two common misconceptions.  First, many children believe a veteran is someone who was killed in action.  That of course is incorrect.  It is any person who served in the armed forces including the coast guard.

Second, some children think veterans are people who served in a war.  That too is incorrect.  The fact is that the overwhelming majority of veterans did not serve in combat units in wars.  So any person who serves in any capacity no matter what they did is a veteran.

Take a moment to give quiet thanks to our veterans.  We enjoy the benefits of our country because of them.




Monday, November 6, 2017

VOTE!

Tomorrow is election day. Most of the elections are for local officials so many people tend to think them unimportant.  Don't be one of those people. Very often local politicians have more influence over your daily life than state or national politicians.  Many men and women served their country in order to preserve your right to vote so do it.

Now here are a few things you may or may not have known about elections in general.


About Election Day
  • Election Day was first designated as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November in 1845.
  • Four presidential candidates have won the popular vote but lost the election: Al Gore 2000, Grover Cleveland 1888, Samuel Tiden 1876 and Andrew Jackson 1824.
  • Two presidents won 49 out of 50 states: Ronald Regan 1984 and Richard Nixon 1972.
  • A record number of people watched the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: 84 million.
  • Thirty-two states have voter ID laws.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2014, there are more than 219 million U.S. citizens who 18 years old or older. More than 142 million said they were registered to vote and more than 92 million said they voted in 2014. Around 35 million people did not respond to the bureau’s questions. In 2012, 61.8 percent of registered voters turned out to vote. In 2008 it was 63.6 percent.
  • Clinton used $1.3 million of her own money to finance her campaign and Trump used $56.1 million of his money.
  • In 2016, $1 billion was spent on digital ads, a 5,000 percent increase from 2008, and $4.4 billion was spent on TV ads, a 16 percent increase from 2012.
  • The first year a campaign ad ran on TV was 1952.
  •  
·        IN MOST PLACES, ELECTIONS ARE HELD ON SUNDAYS.
·       Voters in the U.S. may head to the polls on Tuesdays, but the rest of the world prefers to save its votes for Sunday. Interestingly, countries in which English is the primary language tend to be the exception to this rule; in Canada, citizens vote on Mondays, while Brits vote on Thursdays, and Australians and New Zealanders on Saturdays.
·       SWEDISH AND FRENCH VOTERS ARE AUTOMATICALLY REGISTERED.
·       VOTING IS COMPULSORY IN AUSTRALIA.
·       Every Australian over 18 is required by law to register to vote and to participate in federal elections. Anyone who doesn’t show up on Election Day is fined AU$20 (around $15). Failure to pay that fine results in even steeper penalties—up to AU$180—and can result in a criminal charge.
·       VOTER TURNOUT IN THE U.S. IS EXTREMELY LOW COMPARED TO OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES.
·       According to a 2016 report about voter turnout in developed countries, just 53.6 percent of Americans performed their civic duty during the 2012 election cycle, which places the U.S. 31st out of 35 OECD nations. By contrast, Belgium saw the highest percentage of eligible voters turn out for its 2014 election; approximately 87.2 percent of Belgian citizens cast their votes.
·       ASTRONAUTS CAN VOTE.
·       Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have had the ability to vote since 1997, when Texas lawmakers passed a measure that allowed secure ballots to be sent to space by Mission Control in Houston, Texas. Once astronauts make their selections, their ballots—PDFs of the paper ballots they’d receive in the mail—are beamed back down to Earth, where clerks open the encoded documents and submit a hard copy of the astronaut's ballot to be counted.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hello November

Happy November.  To learn more about the month of November click here georgeswebpage.com/almanac


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy  Halloween, one of a kid's favorite days.  When I think back to my days as a kid on Halloween I realize how different the times are.  Of course this is true of most things but even more so for Halloween.

Here's how a Halloween night shaped up for me.  Go to school as usual where the day proceeded normally.  Never a Halloween party.  Get home from school and hang out for a while until dinner.  After dinner I would get an old cork from our collection, blacken the end of it with a match and smear charcoal all over my face.  Then I would get my old hat, old clothes from somewhere and dress up as a hobo.  Finally I got a stick from the woods and tied a kerchief to the end of it which was filled with a bunch of rags.  Then off I'd go.  I walked to the dozen or so houses within walking distance, collected candy and came home.  Thus endth my Halloween for another year.

As a side note let me point out that the reason I blackened my face was to make it look dirty like I hadn't washed in a long time as you might expect from a hobo. I recently read some posts on Facebook suggestion that people who did that were racists.  How ridiculous!

Halloween today as you all know is very, very different.  First kids buy their costumes.  In fact it's a huge industry.  Then they get driven to a neighborhood where hundreds of other kids have a assembled and besiege the poor home owners after which they are driven home.

One thing though has not changed and never will. Kids still shout "TRICK OR TREAT"!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Yet another gripe

As you may or may not already know, I often use this space to post pet peeves or general gripes.  Not much good ever comes from it but for some reason it makes me feel a little better.  I imagine it's probably something like going to therapist.  It always helps to vent.

Anyway, the issue today is "Made in China".  Recently I started using a number of science kits that I had bought some time ago for my grand children.  I recently had occasion to open a couple of them to use with my grand son.  I  was very disappointed to find items assembled incorrectly or just plain missing.  The general quality of the kits was dreadful. 

As I often do in situations like this, I sent a message to the company who made the kits.  I was surprised to receive a reply from the individual whose name is on the kits.  She said she stands by the quality of them and that I may have received a refurbished kit.  They weren't. They were brand new. 

These particular science kits are just a few of the many items I've purchased over the years that have the Made in China label that come up short.  It reminds me of the days when Made in Japan had a similar reputation. 

So what can be done?  Not much, unfortunately. It's impossible to find items like this-especially toys-that aren't made in China.  All one can do is exercise due diligence.  Look at what you're buying and if it's junk, simply don't buy it.

I would gladly pay a little more for quality.  I have to believe there are many others who feel the same way.  One can only hope new sources pop up. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Update

We just took a walk around the neighborhood.  It has been 6 weeks since Irma made her presence known and there is still a great deal to do.  There is extensive roof and soffit damage on many of the buildings including,  and unbeknownst to me,  ours.  Our unit in particular has escaped damage but other parts have not.  I'm going around to take pictures and document what's being done-or not. It's going to take a while to return to normal.

The situation in Florida

Well, here we are at our condo in FL.  Our primary purpose for being here at this less than ideal time is to arrange for a home watch person and to assess the extent of the damage from hurricane Irma.

We're still working on the home watch situation but the damage here is fortunately minimal.  A couple of window screens and our back lanai ceiling fan were destroyed but thankfully no water damage.

Others did not fair as well.  There are buildings around us that have extensive areas missing roof tiles.  Also our upstairs neighbors received a lot of water damage but it didn't affect us.

All in all we dodged a bullet. Until next time!

Monday, October 9, 2017

How many 'ologists' have you been to?

Everyone knows that as you get older there's a good chance you're going to become much more knowledgeable about the medical community.  For example besides my primary care doc, I have had for one reason or another been to a rather impressive list of 'ologists' and a few who aren't ologists.

I see two besides my primary care doc on a regular basis (besides my dentist and eye doctor): my nephrologist and urologist.

Here are some more I've seen for various reasons or concerns:
gastroenterologist
neurologist
cardiologist
pulminologist
opthamalogist
dermatologist
...
And an orthopedist

Most of these are routine like eye exams, colonoscopy, endoscopy, etc.  Some are more than routine to the extent they involved surgery. 

At any rate it's my hope I don't get to meet anymore.

Here's hoping your list isn't as long.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Questions

Some questions regarding the tragedy in Las Vegas:
1. How did he get his hands on an automatic weapon? Who sold it to him?
2. Who knew he had so many firearms in his house?
3. Why did he do it? Were there any signs of mental instability?
4. Are the "thoughts and prayers" from politicians enough or have they become a sick joke?
5. What is it going to take?

Now some statistics:
There are roughly 330 million people in the U.S.
There is estimated to be over 270 million firearms of one kind or another in circulation in the U.S.
It's estimated that 40% of the people in the U.S. own some kind of firearm.  It's probably a little higher.

The top three reasons stated for owning a firearm are as follows:
48%=protection
32%=hunting
17%=shooting sports (target, trap, skeet, etc)
The other 3%? Collectors, just because they can and lunatics-not necessarily in that order and some people may cover all three categories.




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Happy October

Happy October, one of the nicest months of the year. To read more about October, click here georgeswebpage.com/almanac


Thursday, September 28, 2017

On Stacking Fire Wood

 I read an article the other day in the newly released 2018 Farmer's Almanac about building free-standing stone walls.  The guy listed a lot of dos and don'ts that would ensure they last a long time.  As anyone who has ever taken a stroll through the woods, stone walls can appear just about anywhere-mainly because believe it or not at one time there were much fewer wooded areas than there are today so farmers got stones out of there pastures or gardens by building walls.

I was reminded of this article while stacking recently split firewood.  It seemed to me that many of the rules applying to building a solid stone wall applied to stacking wood.

Here are a few observations:
1. Began your stack on level ground.  Nothing will bring a stack of firewood down faster than that last piece of wood tipping the balance in gravity's favor.
2.  Rather than have to find a way to support the end of the stack, build a system of crissed-cross logs to create a column.  Make sure it's composed of the right kind of logs, i.e. a good, even flat surface and no movement as you go up.
3. Like building a rock wall where there's a rock for every place in the wall, wood piles are the same. There's a piece of wood in the pile somewhere that will fit perfectly.
4. As you get higher, try to move the stack.  There should be a minimum of movement.
5. When you're finally up to 4 feet which is the optimum height and you're done, cover the top only of the stack-not the sides.  Contrary to popular belief, it's not the sun that seasons wood. It's air flow through the logs. 

Follow these rules and you won't find yourself going in the house, sitting down with a glass of water and hearing a series of thumps on the ground outside.  I know because it's happened to me and in fact everything I've listed was learned the hard way so don't feel bad if you don't succeed the first time.

In my view there are few things more satisfying than gazing upon a nicely constructed stack of fire wood waiting for the first nip of winter.

Good luck.

Monday, September 25, 2017

"The medium is the message"

The medium is the message is a phrase coined by a contemporary philosopher/professor in the 60s.  His name is Marshall McLuhan.  It is in my view one of the great truisms of our time. 

To illustrate what McLuhan meant by it,  let's look at the controversy now raging among pro athletes regarding Trump's recent remarks about kneeling during the national anthem (Isn't there always some sort of controversy? What will it be when this one dies down?).

To paraphrase Trump he said basically every team owner should fire every son of a bitch who does not stand for the national anthem.

I think most people would agree that it is a basic sign of respect for our country and the men and women who are now serving and for those who have in the past.  Who wouldn't agree with that? 
Well, apparently there are in fact some people who don't. What's more it's their right-a right confirmed by the supreme court and a right guaranteed by the Constitution. 

As usual, Trump's method of disagreeing with those people has become the message-not the issue itself. 

The same thing happened regarding the Charlottesville fiasco. The issue there was not really about statues. The issue was the presence of Nazi's, white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan.  In Trump's handling of this, he basically legitimized hate, bigotry, racism and violence.  The statue thing got totally lost in the shuffle.

In other words in both these examples, it was the medium that became the message, not the core issue.

We all know of course that Trump is too stupid to figure this out.  I'm sure he never heard of Marshall McLuhan much less understand his point.  But how about the rest of us.  Well, that's exactly why we see the push-back that we're seeing.  People are trying to get across to Trump that he needs to find better, more effective and respectful ways to make his point.  Think he will?  Me neither!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Happy Autumn

Here are 10 facts you may not have know about Autumn.
Fact #1:  Americans typically refer to this time of year as “fall,” while the British use the word “autumn.” Both terms date back to the 16th century but before that it was called “harvest.
Fact #2:  Fall was called “harvest” because of the “harvest moon” that occurs when the full moon is closest to the autumn equinox. Before man-made lighting, this moonlight was essential to a prosperous harvest.
Fact #3:  Weight gain around this time of year may not only be due to comforting fall foods like pumpkin pie and cider, researchers have found that lack of vitamin D reduces fat breakdown and triggers fat storage.
Fact #4:  According to The Weather Channel, pumpkins are the most craved food during the fall. Although, if you’ve left the house anytime recently, this may not come as a surprise to you.  
Fact #5:  The yellow and orange colors you see actually always exist in leaves but they are overpowered by the abundance of green from chlorophyll. The amount of chlorophyll starts to decrease as the sun weakens and the days grow shorter.
Fact #6:  Red and purple leaves are only that color because of the presence of sugars and sap that are trapped within the leaves. These sugars provide plants with the energy they need to survive.
Fact #7:  Many birds will prepare for their winter migration during the fall. The distance they can travel is impressive; the Arctic Tern travels 11,000 miles each way for it’s annual migration. That’s no small feat.
Fact #8:  Evergreen trees such as pines, cedars, and spruces stay green because their leaves (needles) are covered with thick wax and they contain materials that prevent freezing when it gets cold.
Fact #9:  Men and women experience high levels of testosterone during the fall. This makes sense because more babies are conceived during the fall and winter. The cause is unknown but it could be due to lack of sunlight or even go back to ancient mating rituals.
Fact #10:  We can’t forget Halloween! Halloween takes place in the fall and comes from ancient Celtic tradition. They believed that ghosts roamed on Halloween and people would wear disguises in order to hide from these spirits.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Random items

1.  Jose is proving to be much less troublesome here and in FL than Irma-fortunately.
The situation in FL is getting better.  Power had been restored for some time but waste water disposal is still a problem.  Hopefully, the situation will be much improved by the middle of October.

2. Hurricane Maria, Cat 5, is now in the process of destroying several Caribbean  islands.  With any luck at all it will do as projected-turn Northeast and go out to sea.

3.  Trump is in N.Y. speaking at the U.N.  God help us-and the rest of the world!

4. Sandi got me a new laptop for our 50th anniversary-a MacBook Pro.  Great machine but missing some of the features I use, i.e. USB ports and a DVD.  I borrowed a DVD and bought an adapter for to have USB.  Why does Apple do that?

5. My son-in-law and I recently cut and brought home about two cords of wood from a friend's house.  We've split about half of it.  Already in good shape for next couple of years.  Working on year three.  In spite of global warming we still have winters here in CT.

6. Fall sports have kicked in big time.  Boys=football.  Brooke=soccer. Courtney=cross country. 
We're going to be busy.

Bye for now.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Happy Birthday Courtney

Happy 11th birthday to grand child number 2, Courtney Elizabeth Sullivan.  Here's a picture of her at a recent middle school cross country meet.  To see more pictures of Courtney click here georgeswebpage.com.
Go to the photo gallery.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Irma!

It has been several days since I posted anything mainly because we've been anxiously following Hurricane Irma. 

As we know, Irma was a Cat 5 hurricane, pretty much the most powerful storm to hit Florida in a very long time.  The entire state was affected but particularly the west coast where our condo is located-  Naples to be exact.

Preliminary reports were that the area was a mess.  Later reports were toned down somewhat.  There were many trees down of course and there probably isn't a carport left standing but other than that there did not appear to be any significant flooding.  According to pictures sent to me, roof tiles were intact and power and water are back on.

All in all, cleanup crews and utility workers have done a fantastic job.

We're headed there Monday to check out our place and arrange for a home watch person.  So all in all it could have been much, much worse. The storm surge we kept hearing about never happened or,  at least if it did,  not nearly as bad as they kept predicting.

So it's on to the next one. Thank God Jose is going out to sea.



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Two things

1. Hurricane Irma is posing a serious threat to the region of Florida where our condo is.  We were supposed to go there this week but wisely moved it down the road two weeks.  We don't have a new home watch person yet but we do have a neighbor who is going to move lanai furnishings inside before heading out.  Hoping they'll all be OK.

2. Be sure to check out my web site georgeswebpage.com. There is a new slide show link on the photo gallery page of the Corning Glass Museum.  Also, Brooke's page has been up dated.  Lots of new stuff to see.

That's it for now.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy September

It's September already. Three weeks until Autumn. To learn more about the month of September, click here georgeswebpage.com/almanac


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Updates

The arbor and garden fence are done. Now we can plant more in the spring without worrying about our 'deer' friends.

My website has been updated. Be sure to check it out. georgeswebpage.com


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Two Things (No politics. I promise)

1. More acorns than  usual? and earlier?  What does it mean?  I heard on some talk show recently that you're supposed to be able to predict the severity of the coming winter by how soon oaks drop their acorns and the quantity of them as well. Actually, that isn't true. It has more to do with what the weather was-not will be. 

Growth patterns and behaviors of all plant life is highly dependent on the preceding few months.  It has nothing to do with what's down the road.  In fact there's very little about nature that could be a predictor.  For example certain animal activity, the amount of black on woolly bear caterpillars or even the emergence of leaf colors are all due to other factors.  Plants and animals can't sense what kind of winter we're going to have.  Ocean temperatures and air current patterns are far more reliable.

So there you have it. (Still don't believe me,  do you?)

2. I just finished putting together a garden arbor for the flower garden we're currently redesigning.
It will be surrounded by deer fencing, stained 4X4 posts with cedar post caps and the arbor.  Should look pretty good.  When it's done, I'll post pics on my web site. 

In the meantime here are two pictures. One is my driveway with the acorns and the other is the arbor. 




Disclaimer: This is a political post. If you're sick of reading about the current mess we're in, move on. Otherwise, read on.

Donald Trump is a totally disgusting human being and by calling him 'human'  I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.  Does that sound a bit harsh? Perhaps a little over the top? Well, I'm sorry. That's as gentle as I can be.

Consider: Prior to January 20, 2017 the United States had been led for 8 years by a man who, in spite of unbelievable resistance from his opponents, was a man of class, dignity and integrity.  Fast forward to this minute and what we have is a bully, bigot, racist, misogynist and xenophobe.

The United States used to be a country admired by the world. It was more than an economic power house. It was a sanctuary for the persecuted. A place for anyone who wanted to make of their lives what the chose. 

Today we are a laughing stock.  The world is as disgusted with our leader as most of us. All we can do is hope Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, and the rest of Congress grow a backbone and find cause for impeachment.  Of course then we're left with religious maniac Pence but it's still better.

OK, that's all for today.  No more politics for a while anyway.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Two observations. Same issue

Recent events in Charlottesville, VA have exposed the ugliest side of American culture. Hatred, racism and violence spilled over when a group of white supremacists blew into town to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.  As we all know by now one thing led to another with a 20-year-old boy from Ohio plowing into a crowd of people killing one.

Where you stand on Robert E. Lee's statue is totally irrelevant.  What is relevant is that a group of ignorant zealots chose that as an issue to further their cause of racism and hatred.

As this was happening the country was looking to its leaders for comfort and guidance. What they got from our glorious leader was a few platitudes and no condemnation whatever of the people who instigated this hate filled act.   But why am I not surprised?  Donald Trump didn't condemn the act because he's one of them. What did you expect when you voted for him? If you doubt this at all go back and listen to the remarks of one of the most well-known racists of modern times-David Duke.

And if you think all this started with Trump,  think again.  President Obama spent 8 long years at odds with a republican congress who vowed to thwart his every move.  Yet look what he accomplished in spite of it.  Economic times are better, aren't they?  Do you seriously think it's because of the current joke currently serving as president?

So here we are. Back to square one.  Right?

Well, I don't think so.  Here's why.  Yesterday my grandson played in a series of preseason football games against teams from Bridgeport, Norwalk and New Britain.  The teams they played against are heavily populated by players of color.  Their families were there as well cheering them on as were the families of the Newtown players.

The coaches reflected the makeup of the teams they coached. They played very tough football but the Newtown boys represented themselves very well and they learned a lot.  So did I.

I saw coaches who helped their counterparts on opposing teams. I saw coaches congratulate or assist injured players from other teams. I saw parents from both sides talking and laughing with each other just enjoying watching their children and grand children playing a sport.  I saw acts of kindness and consideration where ever I looked.  In other words I saw people being normal, good people.  I saw in all of those folks what we should have seen from those pigs in Charlottesville and what we should have heard from our president.

Nationally, it was a bad day for sure.  But locally I saw hope.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Web site update

Check out my web site for updated pictures of grand kids, grand dogs, and many nature and yard shots.
georgeswebpage.com

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Contacting Customer Support

Have you ever tried contacting customer support for any number of things you do online?  Sometimes it's easy but other times it's very nearly impossible.

I've been a member of Amazon Prime for several months now.  It costs about $10 a month.   Amazon Prime members  get free two day shipping on most items and there's supposed to be free video streaming for most programs. This part of it has turned into a huge disappointment.  In fact it's a complete ripoff.  Every movie worth watching is an extra cost.  On top of that a TV series I used to get through Amazon is now only available through Acorn for another $4.95 a month.  Ridiculous.

So now the customer support part.  I've been trying to find a way to leave feedback similar to this post but they don't make it easy.  Of the hundreds of links on the Amazon.com website, there isn't one single way to leave general feedback.  Hmmm. I wonder if this is intentional.  Duh!

I'll keep trying and report back my findings. In the meantime if there's anyone out there who has the solution to this please message me. Thanks.
george.stockwell@gmail.com