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We gotta do this.

It takes a village.
Actually it takes a significant population to do the heavy lifting.  It takes a significant number of people to fund a benevolent charity.  It takes money and volunteers to run a helping organization like the Red Cross or to support research for diabetes.
None the less, it will take a little bit from all of us to help the working poor and their children, the homeless, people with pre-existing medical conditions and the disabled to be able to afford health care.  It’s up to us to do the heavy lifting for those who are unable to help themselves.  It’s our moral responsibility.  America needs either Medicare for all or a single pay health care system.  Tell your congressperson we need this.  We all can help do this.  It’s not a political issue.  But we can do this together.  Millions of us can pitch in and do the heavy lifting.  Probably doing without a monthly pedicure, couple of streaming movies and a dinner out could pay for this.  

I am most serious. So, listen up!

I have come to the sad conclusion that Republicans do not want you and me to have any social benefits. Sadness from me because I once was a long-time Republican. Republicans now would like to shut down my Social Security and Medicare. Social benefits I have paid in to. This is not a giveaway program as Republicans would have you believe.

Now the conservative Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act for the third time. Tens of millions can now breathe easier that a SEVEN to TWO Supreme Court decision has been made in favor of Obamacare. When will Republicans ever learn? Americans have to take care of their own. Obamacare is a God-send for America’s working class and I’m glad to help with my paid-in taxes. However, it would be most helpful if America’s Zillionaires would pay their fair share as well.

Why did we leave there?

What we had left behind after moving from Los Alamos New Mexico to Oklahoma. Was the absolute driest, cleanest, freshest air on the planet. Almost intoxicating. Something like drinking pure sweet well water. Ah-h-h. So refreshing.

Plus I had not perspired much in the three and a half years we lived in Los Alamos and saved hundreds of dollars worth of deodorant. Northern New Mexico humidity is the lowest in the United States. Clean dry fresh air.

So now the trade off having moved to Oklahoma is the exposure to the most humid air in America. Requiring many dry hankies in your pockets if not a beach towel. This summer here in Soonerland has been especially hot and sweaty. It’s almost as bad as when we visited Tampa Bay a few summers ago with temperatures in the nineties and humidity the same or more. Absolutely the wrong time of the year to visit Florida. So, never mind a big towel after exposure to Okie sweat. It would be easier to dry off in the shower. Maybe I’ll just hold a running garden hose over my head instead. Whew!

Prehistoric Television.

It was our first TV from the early 1950s.  A Sears Silvertone 12-inch black and white Television.  It was, what they called, a ‘table top’ model.  The picture tube was fitted in a two-foot square by two foot deep mahogany box sitting atop a wooden box frame with skinny mahogany wood legs.  This television had a round 12-inch picture tube in front with a straight frame at the top and bottom.  Looking like a movie screen but rounded ends.  When this showed up in our living room in 1952 it was the first television I had ever seen.  Wow!  Early on my favorite thing to watch was the Indian feathered test pattern.

Now, this TV had one mechanical channel selector and operated by hand.  Click-click-click.  No remote.  Plus it had one on-off/volume switch, one contrast knob, one horizontal hold knob, one vertical hold knob, and one tone knob.  Again, all controlled and operated by hands on. 

When the TV was misbehaving it would either roll up or down like a slow frame by frame film.  Or it would lean diagonally to the right or left.  Just a collection of compressed diagonal lines.  Driving the viewer into total aggravation. 

 

But for an eight-year old boy it was a chance to play TV engineer.  A little twist here or a twist there.  And waa-laa, a scrambled mess.  If that weren’t enough there were recessed slotted controls on the back of the TV to stick a screw driver into and twist one way or another.  One could learn a lot by experimenting.  Just don’t let your dad catch you fiddling with this big wooden mahogany device.  But when no amount of twisting and turning seemed to help, take off the removable back panel and pull out the crystalline glass vacuumed tubes and take them to the nearby drug store for testing on the tube tester.  This alone was fun to watch as my dad would plug in each glass tube.  It would tell you if the tube was good or bad.  If all the tubes were still good we would take them home and attempt to fit them back into the right slots, unplug the TV power cord, and leave it for a week.  Perhaps by some magical means or Karma or maybe banging on the cabinet before plugging it back in to the wall receptacle it just might work.  The end result of all this troublesome TV fiddling resulted in something like viewing a black-and-white photo through a sheet of wax paper.  Sort of fuzzy.  Almost good as listening to ‘Old time’ radio.  Just turn the darn TV on good and loud and go feed the chickens.  End of the broadcast day.  Signing off.

Peter Pan doesn’t live here.

Sheba, my anonymous and selfieless spouse and I have just returned from a week’s trip to the Land of Enchantment. And I’m not talking about we flew away with Peter Pan. The Land of Enchantment as some of you well know is the slogan New Mexico uses as their chamber of commerce logo.

Therefore a solid week off my so-called Curmudgeon blog. Such as it is. None the less we saw our kids and grandkids with plenty of hugs and tickles. Not so much for our adult kids. A couple of self absorbed thirty-something professional swell-heads.

Never the less, it was a week of piano recitals, souvenir eating, Sheba’s birthday party, visiting with our older grandchild’s new horse. A brownish buckskin named teddy. Numerous shopping trips with just Sheba and our younger daughter hitting many re-sale shops. A serious past time my wife is addicted to. And what did I get from this Enchantmentland trip?? Lots of hugs from my grandkids. A tall thirteen-year old with permanent ear-buds under forever color changing hair who looks twenty and a eight year old who is smarter than any two-headed genius. Just ask her about the microbes in a Panda Bear’s stomach. But anyway, I’ll take it as it is. However, glad to be back home.

Pickle relish

Just to mention it triggers embarrassment and a need to exit the room.

So this is what can easily cause my flush face and a need to run. Sheba, my phantom no-name spouse plays Pickleball. Yes, you correctly heard what I said. Pickleball. Don’t ask how the name came about. Just trust me it’s called Pickleball. Sheba, an ex-tennis player is now totally enamored with Pickleball. A ping pong like game played on half a tennis court and half a lower net with large wooden paddle, four players, and a Wiffle ball. It is also a very noisy game. Lots of PING and PANG back and forth. Drives me nuts. Where pickle comes from is not really understood. All I can say there is no real pickle involved. Just my embarrassment.

Furthermore there is an entire Pickleball association. Google this. It’s real. Something stupid seems to come around almost every generation. This is it. Get use to it. I’m almost certain the Pickleballers will attempt to get this into the Olympics. Oh, please!

Bank Robbery

Checking around a one year CD(certificate of deposit) pays a whopping 0.55 percent on a minimum one thousand dollar deposit. So a person could realize enough money for the year to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. In the meantime the banks will assess a ten dollar a month service charge on your checking account. YOU pay out a hundred twenty bucks for the year. So YOU pay THEM for using YOUR money.

Now consider this: back in 1954 when I was in the fourth grade I had a school banking account with Bank of America paying 4.25 percent with no service charge. Not bad for a dirty sweaty den-year old kid. Then in 1965 my wife and I opened a savings account which paid about five percent annually. Later at another savings bank it paid a little over six percent. All these accounts insured by the federal government with no bank service charges. Plus saving transactions not done during a time of inflation.

But during inflationary times(1978 to about 1985) I had a one thousand dollar CD that paid 9.1 percent. Enough interest paid out for a nice dinner out for my wife and me.

So what happened? Why are the banks not paying off to the account holder? Simply because the banks loves its Stockholders. So the account holder no longer gets the lion’s share of interest accrued. They, the banks, rather pay off the stockholder and let them take the risk with non-insured accounts. So when did all the rules change? It started when banks were allowed by reduced regulations to start up or buy brokerage firms or when brokerages opened banking services . Naturally insisting and pushing account holders towards investing rather than saving. Driving banking customers from savings accounts over to high risk brokerage investment accounts. And if the investment goes south, the investor is the loser. But the CD savings holder gets his half percent annual interest. All accomplishing what? The bank/brokerage wins no matter what. You get a very low yield or nothing at all. Possibly being assessed a service charge for the banks trouble. And again all of this a result of reduced banking regulations. And there is nothing you can do about it. Well, unless you hammer congress maybe.

Politicotarianism

 
So you want congress to take away your affordable health care?  And you want congress to cancel your mom’s Medicare?  And you want congress to take away your grandparent’s Social Security?  And you want your single mom’s sister Child Health Insurance Plan cancelled?  Plus you want congress to take away your blind uncle Social Security Disability?  Just too much socialism here.  Right?

And on top of that its okay for Payday lenders to screw your cousin while he and his young family is in the Navy?  Right?  And I’m sure it’s okay for sellers of consumer products to not be responsible for products that fail before their time.  Right?  Just too much regulation favoring the consumer.  And we don’t want lenders and banks to miss out on high lending interest.  They have stockholders to take care of.  No sir!  Keep government out of business.  A free-wheeling market without regulation and government oversight is best.  Right?  A healthy Wall Street is a healthy America.  And take your global warming crap and shove it.  Bah Humbug!  Never mind the poor and homeless.

Just vote straight Republican.  Those guys will stop all this freaking give away.  Right?

Blogs are for blockheads.

Blogs, like this one, is just for the semi-illiterate and lazy. Blogs are thoughtlessly composed by the impulsive and reactionary. Hastily written with no fact checking. Opinion with no scholarship. Just stupid scribbling on an old model PC.

Here is my point; newspaper journalist typically come from accredited journalism schools. People and institutions capable of gathering raw information and then print it in a grammatically simple and correct fashion. Filtered through fact checker and editors. Possibly the most expensive way to present information but the reader knows the paper and journalist have done their homework. Composers of blogs, like mine, are just spume out willy-nilly and composers hope no one is checking facts. Most blogs could be considered as creative fiction. Something cute but not true. Something entertaining but not accurate. Something outrageous but not rational.

Read your local daily newspaper instead. And for Pete sakes turn off talk radio. Bottom line, I love the smell of news print. Think about it. You can’t wrap fish in a blog. That’s 30 for now.

Freaking Freeways

The omnipotent self-important state highway pinheads who want to widen major freeways in southern California should rethink their road and transportation strategy. More and/or wider freeways, as they propose, only serve to congest and pollute. It would place more diesel belching stinky trucks traveling over already polluted highways. Plus remove by demolishing low income houses and displacing thousands of people. People who couldn’t necessarily find reasonable and affordable housing near their jobs. Possibly becoming homeless in the process.

Here is what I suggest. It’s oh so simple. Dismantle and tear down the freeways. Could you possibly imagine the vast land these wide ribbons of concrete cover. It could open up thousands and thousands of acres of land for new housing and businesses. Creating a land boom. Real Estate developers would wet their pants over this. Thousands more homes could be built. Medium and large businesses could be built not far from housing areas. Creating a short commute and no need for freeways. Resulting in manufacturing goods right here instead of shipping goods from China and trucking the goods across most of southern California.

This in itself could put tens of thousands of folks to work and make their lives a bit easier. Shorter commutes. Less pollution. Less honking. More smiling faces.