How Stupid Can We Be? commentary on common sense

uh…what a loaded question is that!

In the past half hour, tops, I began to wonder anew…how stupid could Stupid Be?   I turned on CNN fully expecting to get some clues to that question, and I was not disappointed.  (No dig at CNN…the competition is much worse.)

One– American fighter pilots have been told to ignore “aggressive” Russian pilots over in Syria.  Actually, I thought they had been instructed to avoid each other.   Just as an aside, has anyone else recently become of the opinion that Washington, the U.S. military…maybe even the Russians…and especially the news media led by internet news are almost giddy at the prospect of renewed Cold War hostilities?

I have seen Top Gun numerous times, it’s one of my favorites, and I saw those bad boys making obscene gestures to other fighter pilots…while flying upside down, no less!

Since the Iron Curtain lifted in 1990, an entire generation has missed out on the Cold War daily horror…may we say terror…heaped upon the American public.   I have written elsewhere about this era of watching anxiously for the world to explode.  https://mumbletymuse.com/2015/03/21/the-decade-194…my-life-part-3/      this post is written pertaining to my experiences as a child living in the shadow of Nuclear Bombs.

Two, the news is presenting shocking reports that hackers have invaded the files of the heads of the CIA and Homeland Security!   WHAT? is no one’s email or private secret records sacred? Furthermore, the alleged hacker has SPOKEN to CNN.  Good grief…  One would think that the secret service agencies could locate the hacker…maybe even recruit him to work for us.  Don’t they watch cable news?

And Three… DRONES.   CNN reported that there are now a MILLION drones in use by the private sector.  Flying around in air traffic lanes, scaring military pilots who are minding their own business…and they have managed to approach critical facilities like…almost…the White House!    And—there is no regulation or registration, or anything.   Just go in, pick out your drone, and send its on its merry way doing gosh-knows-what.  Law enforcement agencies like the police have been able to apprehend drones which have crashed or otherwise fallen into official hands–but they just have the DRONES, which remain anonymous.  If ya ask me, anything that resembles an electronic mosquito should be closely monitored by the Feds.

So that was it for the six o’clock news.   Rather amazing, I think.

There’s Work to be Done…but Poetry is SUCH Fun!

Writing 201: Poetry, Day Six — Faces, Found Poetry, Chiasmus
(what the heck is Chiasmus?)

just a few books
just a few books

            Booksellers Lament

Books in order means order in books
to find them is the key
with thousands of books the ONE that is wanted
is the one nowhere to be found.

Well, it MUST be somewhere unless it was sold!

If order is everything and if everything is in order
the book business thrives, sporadically
(at least theoretically)
but only if you’re listing, they keep insisting
books on the shelves can’t sell themselves

an order’s an order but books MUST be in order
to fill the order–when there’s an order to fill.

©Sometimes, 2016

 

The perfect gift for a child (renamed)

[Writing201, Poetry.   Today’s assignment involves the word GIFT, and Crostic, and Alliteration.]    (Originally published on Sometimes in 2015 under title A Perfect Past Present for Poetry Class)

        A Perfect Past Present

Better a book, than a boat or a bear

Or my childhood dream would be dashed

Only such a gift would

Keep me a happy child.

I would never have wanted clothing

Neither undies nor socks…in a box

A doll or a hat or even a unicorn of bisque would have been taking a terrible risk

of dashing my special specific dream of a gift

But–alas!  There was only one lonely gift left…and that in a box!

OXYDOL SOAP said the  boisterous box, causing my young heart to sink

X-actly!   I  cheered as I peered inside, and shouted — “MY BOOK IN A BOX!”

©Sometimes, 2015

What Do Readers Really Want?

So far I’ve published 105 posts, covering all kinds of subjects from poison ivy to politics.

Hmmm…do I see a pattern here?   Just kidding.  Poison Ivy is real and annoying, and Politics–surreal and ridiculous sometimes.

I’ve written about myself…mostly adventures and quirks.   Other posts featured butterflies, Cuba, TV shows, Will Smith, the Aztec Calendar, and the Word Police.   Even after studying the list of posts, I am still at a loss to say what my readers really want.  Articles that I personally like are almost never the ones that Readers like….or at least leave comments about.

Computers, specifically my personal love/hate relationship with  the “machines,” seems to be something a lot of readers relate to.  I think this is due to the us-against-them attitude most of us have.  Most readers, as most writers, use computers these days.   Few comments (or posts for that matter) are of the type of people that are embarrassed to say they love computers…or for that matter make the ridiculous claim — “I am not computer literate and proud of it!”   Or even more idiotic–“what would I do with a computer?  I have no use for one.”   This last comes regularly from acquaintances–and relatives or occasional friends–who actually in real life would get the MOST out of surfing the net and communicating with friends and family on email.

Well, ok—I should talk.   I resisted getting rid of my wringer-washing-machine, and had “no use” for a microwave oven.   That lasted for about two minutes each (20 years apart) before temporary sanity took over.

Now and then I post a politically-oriented comment.   I admit to having strong opinions, and like my Grandma Myrtle,”– always have something to say.”   OK.  I admit it.  I am as Abe Lincoln would say “four score and one years old.”   (I don’t want that silly “young” applied.)    I am an Historian, specifically Latin America, and United States History.   My degrees and advanced study qualify me to comment on historical matters, in my humble opinion.

I have had very few, if any, comments to my political posts.  Other current events are also things I post about now and then.   But these are usually not the posts my readers comment about.

I love to write about and post photos about lighter issues–like my garden, and my great-grand-kids.   Flowers are especially popular–and I do understand why.  My own favorite blogs and posts from the people that I follow, are travelogues, adventures in wild places that I can no longer hope to visit, and the flowers, birds, trees, sunsets, miscellaneous subjects.

Raising children….I no longer have any young children that I am personally responsible for.  My grandkids have kids, and they do a fine job of raising them.  But I LOVE the mom’s who write about daily adventures raising their children.  These blogs have stories and issues that I can personally relate to–even back in the day.   Being a Mother is not easy, and part of raising future generations is a great job.   I know…from experience.  Many of the worst problems of the world could be, or can be, solved by the Moms’ addressing of such things as male dominance, and general respect for women as equals.

I like to read about other bloggers adventures in Blogging, too.    There is a lot of camaraderie among bloggers, facing the same triumphs and tribulations.

In other words–I am personally and as a blogger interested in just about everything…and my own Blogging reflects that general interest.

More About Me…a sort of Newsletter

[Writing an ABOUT PAGE always reminds me of the “Holiday Newsletters” we used to get from relatives and friends—some welcome and fun, others not so much and more of an obligation to read.   I hope my About Page is informative, not obnoxious.   I offer these facts about my life for some kind of context for my Blog.]

I have had a full and exciting life so far, with lots of great opportunities and varied experience.

Sure, after high school I got to hop on a Navy ship and cross the Atlantic Ocean on a ship and spend a couple of years in Germany, living in new U.S. Army quarters.  It was right after World War II, and there were still bombed-out buildings in many of the cities and towns.   Back home in 1957, we lived at a number of military bases.

Then I fell in love with Tucson, Arizona…which to this day is like home to me.

Had five kids over a period of about ten years: one in Texas, two in Arizona, one in Pennsylvania, and one in Ohio.

Divorced and remarried in 1972.  My second husband was  Fire Chief in our Ohio town.

For awhile I dabbled in politics, worked for my pal the late U.S. Congressman Don J. Pease (D-13th Ohio) on campaigns during the mid-70s.    As Clerk of Council in my town, and secretary of planning and zoning boards, I used my writing for official purposes.

Worked for 18 years as a newspaper writer and reporter.

Decided I needed a “higher education” when I turned 50…half my life spent, the other half would be for Me.   So I enrolled at our wonderful Community College, and earned my Associate Degree in General Studies in 1988.

Then transferred my credits to Cleveland State University, and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in History, 1990.   I was accepted at the University of Akron, awarded a graduate assistantship in the History Department, and received my Masters of History in Latin American Studies.     Subsequently I entered the doctorate program, completed required academic work for a PhD, and then worked for ten years on my doctoral dissertation.  I did not complete the final version of numerous drafts, ran out of time, and–for reasons of procrastination–remain at the ABD, (All but Dissertation,) stage.

Let’s see…in my lifetime so far I have been fortunate in “falling into” wonderful opportunities.  Some I accepted, some not.   .

The single thing that has unified the threads of my life is — WRITING.   I have always been a writer since I was old enough to hold a pencil.   The writing has taken different paths, from fiction, school papers, university research projects, newspaper writing and reporting, and now writing on my WordPress blog.

Who am I — and What am I doing here?

Here is a re-run from several years ago.   The information may be familiar to some of the old-timers, but new to those who haven’t read it before.   Every now and then I am driven to publish a reminder of who I am and why I am writing, so I go back to one of these treatises from “back in the day.”

This is a hard thing to do, making up a sort of resumé, putting the right foot forward and all that. I have written about parts of my life story, so I’ll just fill in a few blanks and say a few facts. Facts are good.

Writing is my first love…since I was old enough to hold a pencil without poking out an eye, letters and words on a page have always fascinated me. Finally learning to actually read and write was thrilling for me. I read everything available, and still remember some of my favorite books even after all these years.

I have been around for more than four-score years, but please don’t anyone hold that against me. I try really hard to avoid being obnoxious or too much of a know-it-all, and I really do work at not being rude, out-spoken, or annoying. Everyone who knows me if they are reading this are rolling their eyes and saying “yeah, right!”

Blogging is one of the best things that has ever come to my attention. I did try journaling, keeping a diary, but that got old fast. My great-grandmother was a good diarist, whose life was filled with interesting things to write about: the Goodyear blimp’s maiden voyage over Akron Ohio, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) although I don’t think she ever wrecked any bars with an ax like Carrie Nation did…and she wrote often about her “soldier boy,” who was a Civil War cavalry man. My grandmother, on the other hand, didn’t enjoy writing much, and her entries complained about the garbage men banging up the trash cans, and the ice man dripping water all over the basement stairs, and how old her mother would have been had she lived past 93.

My work history includes having been a newspaper reporter, political hack at various times, city council clerk, and a full-time student once I hit the age of 50. I do hold a master’s degree in History, notably United States and Latin American History, but ran short of a doctorate in History because I ended up ABD (all but dissertation) at about age 70…because I had other things to do that were more productive. Such as more writing, selling books and stuff on ebay.

My writing has found its home with WordPress, blogging satisfies my need to write about anything and everything, and I can go on and on about my life…and if anyone doesn’t want to read it they don’t have to. The story of my life history will just go on in cyberspace forever.

Five children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren give me more fodder for great prose. I love CATS, nature, all kinds of needlework, collecting stuff…lots of stuff. I am a terrible housekeeper, a haphazard gardener, and a disorganized and distracted business person.

Whom do I want to read my blog? Anybody who wants to.    I love visitors and followers, and I have made a lot of friends here at WordPress.    Just this week, the beginning of September 2020, I committed to return to my blog, SOMETIMES, which I started in 2011.   I discovered that my email notification for WordPress had been shut off, and I am thrilled to say that once I flicked that switch ya’all just came rushing back as if the gates had been trampled…I love it!

So that’s who I am.

Confessions of a “Non-Traditional Student.”

At the age of fifty, I declared that since half my life was over…the other half (arbitrarily estimated at fifty more years) would be…mine.   Really it was more of a threat than a promise, but when complaining that everyone but me had been allowed to pursue a college education, and by implication, a career.   “Everyone” being my children, and “pursue” meaning opportunity.  Their response:  “go for it, Mom.   Do it…”  Right.   Me and a bunch of eighteen-year-old kids.

So I drove off to the Community College, grabbed a course bulletin, and sat down in the cafeteria.   So far so good.   Hmmm…what to study.   Since I had no idea at this point if I would just take a couple of courses, or what.   First things first…. courses that would be interesting, add to my store of knowledge, and something that I could do without making a fool of myself.

Since I was already a newspaper writer, English seemed like a logical course of study.   Psychology was a no-brainer, pardon the pun.   I wanted courses that I would enjoy, learn from, and be able to use in some capacity later on.

Well, I took to school like a duck in water.   After the initial “oh no, not another senior student come to make my life miserable,” the professors put up with me and in fact treated me exactly as any other students.   Although a lot of them were eighteen, many were much older, and they all treated me [almost] as a peer.   I refrained from trying to hang out with them.   I didn’t tell the English profs that I had been a working writer, mainly because one of the reasons I wanted to take the course was to test my writing skills.   Psychology was just darn interesting.

By the end of the first school quarter I was hooked.   I loved school, much more than I had in high school…yes, MUCH more!   I signed up for English and Psychology courses the Winter quarter, and the Spring Quarter.   Summer session was tempting, and I got into position to attend classes as a full-time student the following September.

By this time it had occurred to me that I really wanted to pursue an Associates Degree in General Studies, which I completed in May of 1988.  I had taken great pains to make sure than my course work was on track in case I wanted to transfer credits, which I did…93 credits transferred to Cleveland State for September semester of 1988.

[…to be continued]