Saturday, September 28, 2013

An frustration

Following our usual routine, we went to the clubhouse gym this morning for our daily exercise.  The exercise room has two TVs, both set to the same channel for a stereo effect.

The station they're set to is of course FOX News  given the fact that many of the people who use the equipment are older and rather conservative.  I shouldn't complain because the more I hear those idiots on FOX, the madder I get and the harder I work so they're actually doing me a favor.

This morning's discussion centered on the looming government crises.  The commentators were naturally very critical of Pres. Obama and especially strident about his refusal to negotiate with House republicans.

What morons!  Don't they understand there is nothing to negotiate?  The Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) IS LAW!  Get it?  It's THE LAW!

The real issue here is that House republicans are scared to death that when Obamacare kicks in, it actually works.  They are hell bent not to risk that.  That would be their total undoing.

Frankly they're headed off a cliff anyway.  If they shut down the government, they'll be blamed completely...and with good reason.

The nation is so fed up with the inept performance of Congress that one has to wonder what's going to happen during the midterm elections.  Either everyone will just not care and stay home or there will be a major transformation.

Next up on my blog spot:  Is Obamacare socialized medicine as many wingnuts on the right insist or is it a logical next step toward health care equality?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

To stage or not to stage. That is the question

A little while ago my wife and I had a real estate agent give us an appraisal on our house.  We've been toying with the idea of taking up residence with one of our kids and wanted some ideas.

We asked a lady who we knew and trusted so we were confident in her opinion.  Among other things, one of the things she noted was that if we were to put our house on the market we would need to remove most if not all of the family pictures we have hanging throughout.

A short time after that my daughter put her house on the market and she was given the same advice which she followed.

Finally, in this morning's paper there's an article by a so-called expert who offers the opinion that staging a house is absolutely imperative if you want to sell it.  I would assume she means an empty house or condo because how on earth are you supposed to stage a house you're still living in?

My knee-jerk reaction to this whole issue is that people must be awfully stupid.  Don't they know that when you're looking at a house, you're not going to be getting the pictures on the wall?  Are they that so easily distracted that they can't overlook things that aren't going to be staying in the house?  Is there a mass epidemic of ADHD afflicting our society?

I could easily imagine myself saying to a prospective buyer who complains or comments negatively about something on the wall that they need to get out.  They're too dumb to live in my house!

Not very helpful, I guess, but I'd definitely feel better.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Another killing spree...

They appear in the news so often now it's almost routine...almost.  Yet again another lunatic lets loose on hapless victims this time killing 12.

Here's what we know so far:
He was a documented nut case.
He had a 'secret' security clearance from the U.S. Navy in spite of having been discharged for insubordination, in spite of having previous brushes with the law and in spite of documented mental problems.
Add to that, he managed to obtain an AR15 long gun but according to the latest reports it is not clear as to whether or not it was the one responsible for the deaths.  A shotgun may have also been involved.

The other night I attended  a social occasion with two other couples. The women were in the other room talking and the men were in the kitchen just finishing a game of pinochle.  The other two men were life-long members of the NRA but in all respects reasonable, thoughtful men who were as unhappy with the situation as anyone could be.

Not surprising they are both advocates of the 2nd Amendment.  They both observed that curtailing the rights of law abiding citizens was not going to solve any problems and that the hysteria surrounding gun control advocates is, well, just that-hysteria and a knee-jerk reaction to all these horrible incidents.  They went on further to observe the fact that there appeared to be so little being done to address the mental disorders that cause these tragedies.  I confess to believing they are partially correct.

The point I made however was that had there been UNIVERSAL background checks which the NRA leadership opposes, this individual at least and perhaps many more would have been discovered.

Here's another thing:  An AR 15 is not a hunting rifle nor is it used in shooting sports activities such as trap and skeet.  It is an assault rifle designed for the purpose of killing people-period!  It has no other use.

So while we're trying to sort out the various issues involved in these events, doesn't it seem reasonable to at least  disarm the lunatics out there to as great an extent as possible?  Don't worry, gun-rights advocates, you can still have your rifles, shotguns and hand guns but if you want an AR15 you're going to have to be a soldier or a law enforcement person.  No one else needs one.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Happy 46th anniversary to George & Sandi and 7th anniversary to Pete & Jen.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy birthday

Happy 7th birthday to Courtney, our sweet little grand daughter.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What were you doing exactly 12 years ago.

Over the course of a lifetime there are certain things all people have burned into their memories. I of course exclude things like wedding days or birthdays.  I'm talking about huge events that affect many, many people.

I can recall in my lifetime several such events.  The first are assassinations like that of  John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.  Another is the event that happened three years ago today and the third is the tragedy at Sandy Hook School on Dec. 14, 2012.  I hope there aren't any more like this.

On the morning of 9/11/2001 I arrived at Sandy Hook School at my usual time only to discover that a delivery truck had torn down power lines thereby cancelling school.  From there a small number of us went to the Board of Education central office to call parents & staff to tell them there would be no school. 

We finished doing that at about 8:40 A.M. at which time I  left for home when I heard on the radio the first reports of a plane running into the World Trade Center.

Like most people we at first thought it was just a terrible accident.  By the time I got home and turned on the news the second plane had hit the other tower.  Details then began to unfold as to what really happened.

I stayed in front of the TV the rest of the day.

What were you doing?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

To bomb or not to bomb. That is the question.

President Obama is set to address the nation tonight in an effort to win support for his plan to take military action against Syria for its use of chemical weapons-a form of warfare banned by the world's nations.

Complicating Obama's plan is Syria's latest offer to allow the destruction of its chemical weapons supplies, but does anyone really trusts them to allow this?

Everything I've read, heard or discussed with others supports a 'hands off' approach.  It's thought that this is just another trap to lead us into a protracted armed conflict and one thing's for sure-this nation is sick to death of war.

Supporters of military action cite their fear that if we don't do something to send a message to Syria and every other nation that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, it will come back to hurt us.  It is thought that what happens in the rest of the world is important to us.  After all, suppose we didn't act against Hitler during WWII?

The problem here is that the comparison of Hitler to Syria's Assad is not at all the same thing.  While no one condones the use of such horrible things as nerve gas, maybe there's another approach to achieving those goals set forth by the administration.

One thing that immediately comes to mind is that maybe the US could more actively support the Syrian rebel army.  This way we're not involved directly but the Assad regime would be even more threatened.

The president is of course in a no-win situation, and frankly his leadership surrounding this whole issue has been badly lacking.  For example if action were to be taken it should have happened a long time ago.

Also, by seeking Congressional and world support for his ideas, he's putting himself in a position of being hung out to dry by his detractors.  On the other hand, if in the unlikely event he gains strong Congressional support, he'll be even worse off with the rest of the nation.  Either way, he's going to lose. 

He now simply needs to lead.  He needs to stop running around urging people to agree with him.  He needs to do what he's going to do and be done with it come what may.

No fun being a president...but there's no sense making it even more difficult on himself by being indecisive.

So sayth me!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Good Visit

This morning I attended a breakfast at Sandy Hook School to celebrate the 25th & 26th work anniversary of two people who I know well at the school.

It was great seeing many of my former colleagues and getting to visit my grand son Cole in his kindergarten room.  I'll be back there on a regular basis to volunteer and sub.

I was very impressed with how good the former Chalk Hill Middle School in Monroe looks. In spite of the fact that its original purpose was to serve children much older, it looks as much like an elementary school as it can.

Monroe is indeed a good neighbor to provide this location.  Without it, hundreds of students would be scattered all over town.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Labor Day Parade in Newtown

One of the best and certainly the longest parade ever.  Grand kids had a great time.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A very busy weekend

Labor Day weekend 2013
Friday, 8/30 baby sit Nicholas and his little friend Sean half a day.  Visit my friend Jack at the Lutheran Home in the afternoon and out to dinner with friends that evening.

Saturday, 8/31 baby sit all four grand children at Dickinson Park in the morning while their parents run the Newtown Road Race.   Later that afternoon to the Apple Store in Danbury with friends to help him buy an iPad.  Then out to dinner.

Sunday, 9/1 Shop in morning.  Picnic later that day at friends' house.

Monday, 9/2  Newtown Labor Day parade in morning.  Becky's house in afternoon for picnic.

The Newtown Road Race had a record number of participants.  In the beginning all the runners were cheerful and happy to participate,  yet as I watch a great many of them cross the finish line, they looked like they had  been tortured for the past 20-30 minutes.  But I guess as they say, running's good for you.  I'll stick to a nice brisk walk, thank you.

Brooke and Courtney back to school Tuesday the 2nd.