Recently I was fortunate enough to have been able to scratch two items off my bucket list. Thanks to the generosity of family and friends, I was given support (money) for my birthday that enabled me to take a trip to Washington D.C., which was a bucket list item. Additionally, I was able to travel back home via AMTRAK, which was another bucket list item. This last was a modified bucket list item because ideally, I would like to travel cross-country via train, but that may have to wait until my next life. I am not complaining, mind you. I am very grateful for the train ride. But more about my trip.
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I officially left the ranks of the employed on January 16th, 2014 following over 50 years in the workforce, in several capacities. I must say, I am not impressed with this so-called life of leisure. I wasn’t very impressed when it started and my impression of retirement is not any more favorable after several years. I realized almost immediately that I was not cut out for retirement but many people encouraged me to keep at it, that it would get better with time. So I did, but it did not. I have tried retirement with fervor for over two years and tried to talk myself into how much I was now enjoying life. It did not work. I did not convince myself. I am still retired and I am still quite dissatisfied with this life style. I feel I have no choice but to declare that I am coming out of retirement. As of now, I am no longer retired. Unfortunately, I also do not have a job so I guess that makes me officially unemployed. So, this is what it feels like to be out of work. I wonder if I can file for unemployment compensation?
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Hearing of the death of a loved one or a friend or even an acquaintance is always difficult. I find myself contemplating their loss and feeling an emptiness that is difficult to comprehend or describe. Fortunately, time heals all, to some extent. Those that we have lost shift in time from a hurting memory to a loving memory. The anguish that death causes for family and friends is, at times, almost unbearable. I find that with each occurrence I have a range of emotions, depending on the person and how well I knew them. Sometimes I merely think that it is sad to hear of their passing, and sometimes I feel true grief. Recently, on the same day, I heard of the deaths of two who had touched my life and the news brought me true grief. I wish to share these memories of them with you.
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When I was growing up, many years ago, times were simpler. As a child, I was taught the difference between right and wrong and when I failed to acknowledge this difference, or chose to violate my parents teachings, punishment was sure and swift. I did not always do the right thing but I always knew what the consequences of my actions would be. To reinforce the teachings of my parents I also watched all the westerns on TV and viewed many western movies at the local theater. I learned two things, that the good guys always win in the end, and the good guys always wore white hats. In todays culture it seems as if a lot of that has become blurry. People do not seem to be teaching their children right from wrong and they do not teach them to expect consequences for their actions.
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It seems as if we have another great American past time that is being practiced by many citizens in this country. I am referring to, as the title implies, the sport of jumping to conclusions. This is practiced by so many that it ought to be included as an Olympic event. and if it is, Americans are sure to take the gold each and every time. Jumping to conclusions (JTC), also known as an inference observation conclusion occurs when one takes a limited and incomplete set of facts and uses this information to draw an emotional based conclusion that is in no way actually related to the complete set of facts often found at the end of a full investigation. This is jumping from point A to point D without stopping by points B and C to see what they have to offer. Allow me to give a few recent examples.
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I try to be a good citizen., I try to stay on top of what is going on in the world and what is important and what is trite. But what I have the most problem with is keeping up on what is the current topic of rage and hatred. Throughout my life and at different times it has been popular to hate, or at least to intensely dislike, various groups and organizations that were either a threat to the world, to society, or to the American way of life. The hard part has been in keeping up with the state of these groups, why I should hate them, and if I do, in fact, really hate them. The first step in determining who I should hate, and how much I should hate them, is the research into what any group of humans are all about. Popular today is the trend to hate all things Muslim, but I have a few problems with that.
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I have been a member of Facebook since about 2009. I originally had no interest in belonging to any sort of social media but due to some needs at work I found myself obligated to join and learn about this trend in American Pop Culture. I soon discovered there were several advantages to being on Facebook as it allowed me to stay in closer contact with family members and friends. Additionally, I soon discovered many people who I had known at some point in my life were also a Facebook User. I discovered that there was some validity to social media, although it was still considered as trite and was banned from all computers at work, at least initially.
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I have to admit, I was quite surprised yesterday after hearing the news of a settlement reached by the University of Cincinnati and the Dubose Family for the wrongful death of Samuel Dubose at the hands of former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing. I am mostly concerned that this will be another nail in the legal coffin for Ray Tensing who has been found guilty in the court of public opinion. As discussed in an earlier blog, Guilty Until Proven Guilty, I expressed concerns that the “system” in its efforts to stop the ripples of discontent from becoming a tsunami of discontent quickly determined Ray Tensing is guilty, with out the benefit of a trial. This was accomplished by the comments of the Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, Mayor John Cranley,City Manager Harry Black, and fired Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.
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I am not a political guy, contrary to what others may say or think about me. I never paid that much attention to politics. I guess I am a bad citizen. But, it seems that of late, politics are much more “in your face” than they used to be, or maybe since I am now retired I have more time to pay attention. So now, as I begin to pay more attention, I log for the old days when my naiveté allowed me to believe all was good in government and that the government was here to help. I am writing this article today hoping someone out there can help me understand what it is all about.
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Over the past several weeks I have heard the three words “Tamir Rice Was” over and over again. The three words do not change, but what follows is quite varied. For example, Tamir Rice was gunned down by the police for playing while black, or Tamir Rice was a little boy playing in the park with his toy gun”. How about Tamir Rice was not perceived as a threat to police. All, of course, are statements that are meant to incense and divert attention away from the causative factors in this case and shine the light on American Police who have been accused of “declaring a war on blacks”
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