Sunday, July 23, 2017

STRANGE DIMENSIONS -- UNUSUAL EXPERIENCES


Unusual experiences surface in the strange dimension created by our current President – one where we’re expected to believe all his utterances just because he says so – despite the fact that so many of his pronouncements have been proven to be blatantly false. 

I continue to reasonably expect our President’s and his administrative team’s transparency to rule out financial conflicts of interest compromising their ethical and moral loyalty to our constitutional democratic republic form of government.  

So many mysterious meetings between and among our current government’s administration with Russian officials -- some trained to spy -- lawyers, bankers that these leaders somehow forget to mention until reminded later by documents revealed by others.   We are left to make our own inferences based on the gradually emerging facts.    


I have great difficulty extending trust for the unknown to those who have hidden their actions, lied by omission, even given statements contradicting themselves and others -- who continue to be less than honest and straight forward to cite just a few betrayals of the American people's confidence in whose interest they are governing.   We are entitled to full disclosure. 


MORE UNUSUAL EXPERIENCES…..   

Three times in the past decade I had some unusual experiences I’d never had before.  The first one occurred a few years after my husband’s death.   I did have some second thoughts as I pondered a couple of the incidents, but concluded there must be some other explanation than their being a connection to him.    

Something caused me to awaken in the wee hours one morning.  The slightly opened master bathroom door was just as I always leave it, allowing the night light to filter into my bedroom.  I was startled to see a man’s shadowed figure standing bedside at my feet.   I could not clearly distinguish the facial features in the few seconds before the figure vanished as I began to rise up in bed.   I soon went back to sleep and forgot about the experience in the days to come.

A few years later, I was again awakened in early morning hours to clearly see the brightly lit face of a young woman with long blond hair studying me intently.   Her head was bedside mine, slightly higher, tilted to one side as she looked downward straight into my eyes for only a few seconds and then she was gone.  Again, the figure seemed very real, but I did not recognize her.   I eventually ceased thinking about that face. 

The last instance occurred only a few years ago when I again awoke in morning hours to briefly see the shape of a man standing-height with unclear facial features at the head of the opposite darkened side of my bed.    That person too, seemed real before he disappeared. 

Those experiences have seemed strange to me, having never had such before.   Recently when they happened to come to mind I wondered if others ever saw such figures.  I did make a cursory exploratory internet search to discover various explanations.   I found these intriguing. 

One is from well-known scientist Stephen Hawking discussing the possibility of Shadow People:   

"We would feel them because gravity would spread through the extra dimensions from shadow branes that we cannot see. There could be shadow galaxies, shadow stars and even shadow people." 

Another explanation comes from some Psychics who suggest these “shadow people” are often family who care about us and want to check on our welfare.   Based on that view, the first male figure could have been my father of whom I have no conscious memory of his face other than pictures I’ve seen. 

The female face must have gotten a wrong address ‘cause she didn’t look like anyone I ever knew.   The last male figure could have been that father figure or my husband, though I couldn’t discern the face. 

I was not in a dream or hallucinatory state, had not taken any medications or other drugs -- these experiences were not figments of my imagination -- but our sensory perceptions can present us with sights we do not always understand. 

Have you ever had such experiences and what are your thoughts, whether or not you have?  
   


Sunday, July 16, 2017

HANKERING -- RETRO -- SANITY


Had an unexplainable hankering recently for a chili dog -- a culinary concoction  I probably haven't eaten for a couple decades or more.   Recalled a nearby fast food drive thru featuring hot dog varieties so I indulged myself.   The chili wasn't as tasty as what I made, but I'm not about to warm up my kitchen by cooking.  We had a slight cool down outside for a couple days, but we're back to another three digit heat wave again.

The retro dog created a mind set that caused me to be susceptible to a bit of binge viewing of a long ago TV series, "Laugh-In", I coincidentally noticed being featured on current TV one recent day. I had seen some of the broadcasts when they originally aired, but missed many shows given my busy life those years, 1968-1973.   Prime time viewing, traditionally 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., might benefit even now for a similar weekly sketch comedy variety show.  The only comparable sketch comedy program for many years since is NBC-TV's "Saturday Night Live" currently airing well after prime time hours.

"Laugh-In" featured numerous comedic talents, celebrities and even politicians.  The show was fast-moving; colorful; full of comedy skits; outlandish costumes; humorous songs, dances, poetry;  numerous jokes often described as "one-liners" -- brief, and to-the-point on every subject imaginable.

A comedian, Henny Youngman who lived to be 92 was referred to as the King of One-Liners with his classic: "Take my wife......Please!"

Another of his many jokes:

The Doctor called Mrs. Cohen saying, "Mrs. Cohen, your check came back".     
Mrs. Cohen answered: "So did my arthritis!"

Laugh-In's primary hosts were a comedy duo, Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.  Numerous featured comic talents whose careers flourished in the entertainment world after "Laugh-In" ended.  Some of those performers include:  Ruth Buzzi, Judy Carne, Jo Anne Worley, Arte Johnson, Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, Henry Gibson, Alan Sues, Gary Owens, Chelsea Brown, Richard Dawson, Robin Williams.

Flying Fickle Finger of Fate,  one of the shows segments with a serious but humorous twist was an award given "saluting actual dubious achievements by the government or famous people. A breakthrough in TV broadcasting" as defined by the Urban Dictionary.

Here's the first award in a brief  54 sec. video:



Recent news items continue to raise questions about our considerably less than transparent U.S. Administration and President's namesake son.

I can hear Lily Tomlin's little girl character, Edith Ann saying after each of  his new stories  and seemingly never-ending revelations: "And that's the truth!" followed by her making the raspberry sound.



One of Arte Johnson's characters would likely react thusly:



Perhaps this bit of humor will tide me through whatever new insanity may emerge in the week ahead.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

NET NEUTRALITY --- HEAT WAVE


FCC RECONSIDERS NET NEUTRALITY

Issues swirling around our government distract us from Internet concerns. 

On July 12th dozens of major websites and organizations are joining in an internet-wide day of action to prevent a possible FCC wrong decision in undoing the previous ruling to insure net neutrality.  Your comment to the FCC is a first step needed with this link at Demand Progress as one way to express your view.

If net neutrality protections are removed the previous rules of access will be violated to the detriment of smaller business users and ordinary people is the concern of many and one I have shared.     

SlateMagazine explains this complicated issue including:

"Most would generally agree that net neutrality is about preserving the internet as an open platform where newcomers play by the same basic rules of access as giants like Google and Netflix.  The internet is more than just a content channel.  It's also a platform for innovation that creates new jobs, new economic demands and benefits, new opportunities for democratic participation, and new applications.  The challenge here is to protect users from censorship, while also maintaining the internet as a vibrant and open platform for innovation."

Can we trust that net neutrality will be preserved if the rules insuring it are removed?


HEAT WAVE -- SO CAL CLIMATE CHANGE UP DATE 

Heat temperatures are breaking records in three digit figures here in Southern California, more typical of later in the summer than now in early July.  

Many residents are feeling a bit more miserable because our usual dry heat has high humidity with monsoon flow.  

Heading east from Los Angeles County to Palm Springs the temperatures have been even hotter into the teens. 

Firefighters are being kept busy putting out brush fires before they get out of hand threatening homes.

Power outages occurring in some of our valleys due to a variety of reasons serve as a reminder of how vulnerable we're told our power grid is putting us at risk when our power system is disrupted. 

Keeping cool, I move between my air conditioned house to similarly cooled auto and grocery stores or other businesses, so don't linger long in the heat.  Carrying a water bottle  in my car is routine for me year 'round but especially now.  We're susceptible to dehydration at any age, but I think more so as we get older.   

Here are a couple of grumpy old men noting a heat wave in their environment.


   





Sunday, July 02, 2017

BLOG CONTENT -- DAILY LIFE COMMUNICATING -- LIVING IN PLACE



HAPPY JULY 4TH !

You must read "Going Small, and Coming Home" by Shoreacres at Task At Hand

*****
Content on this blog is continuing to be an experiment with addressing several matters each post -- mirroring my daily life which also revolves around more than just one issue.    Every day is infused with living in the present through actions, thoughts triggered by daily experiences, occasional unexpected influx of memories – this is basically what I write about.    Perhaps the unsolicited inflow of memories tends to become more prevalent in proportion to my years of accumulating them.  There are occasions when I have no one here with whom to verbally engage, so some of the residual of that situation comes here.  


POLITICAL COMMENTARY 

My writings will likely continue to include some political commentary on the status of our government – more so than most of my previous years blogging which began in 2006.  My reason for doing so is that our current U.S. administration gives every indication of differing from previous ones in our nation’s history since 1776.  Their governing is not simply a matter of differing political party beliefs from those of the opposition parties views.    I perceive this administration's actions and stated intent pose a potential threat to the constitutional democratic republic principles on which our nation was founded.  I consider my moral and ethical responsibility as a citizen to question such actions, words, behaviors that I believe jeopardize my rights and freedoms and those of generations to come.

The President’s most recent demand under the guise of alleged voter fraud -- which is undocumented -- to obtain private data on voters is an example of a violation that, if allowed, is ripe for abuse of citizen’s rights by this Administration.  Given the President’s vindictive nature against anyone whose views differ from his own, his administration – or any other, for that matter – but his, especially, should not have access to this information.  Likely an “illegal” vote by his definition would be one other than for him and/or his agenda much as occurs in despotically-ruled countries.
 
Then there are his automatic condemnations of any factual news reports to which he objects coupled with his constant lying.   I won’t even discuss his most disgusting modeling of offensive language in words and writing any self-respecting adult would not admire – would not want their young children or youthful adults to pattern their lives after.  His words and behaviors do serve to distract many (which may be partly his intent) from focusing on his governing efforts that less than successfully address the needs of those other than the most wealthy while, as some suggest, his family coffers may be being enriched.  
     
Readers are welcome to be selective in choosing whatever topic segments I might write about that are most of interest to them and disregard those that are not, but that’s always been true.   I cannot avoid writing about our government’s functions since it is very much a part of my daily life, affects my future and that of my loved ones.    

 
DAILY LIFE

My real time daily activities often aren’t referenced here until after the fact, if at all, unlike the writings of many other bloggers.  This is for the simple reason that as a widow now, I live alone – as I have been for the past decade, but had not previously done except for a number of years after college and before I wed.

Publicly distributing information on the Internet about my daily routines might not be in my personal best interest should those with less concern for my welfare and safety choose to abuse that information.    Also, my life is pretty routine and probably would be considered by others to be dull much of the time compared to that of many I read about.  While I’m still active, I confess to being less so as I get older.

My family members’ excitements and activities are mostly shared via various technical devices, even, occasionally, the old-fashioned standard postal service mailings.  This is because the bulk of our time is spent physically apart since the few remaining alive live distances, even across the country, from me. 

Tech-wise, for example, my son texted me this past weekend saying, “Whas up, Mom?  Wanna Facetime?”  Timing was perfect for me, so I quickly replied, “O.K.!”  Within minutes my iPad-mini screen was filled with my son’s presence in real time, quickly followed by my 5 year old grandson’s coming into view.  In the background I could see and hear my DIL joining our conversation as she was wrapping up some activities on her laptop.

Soon my grandson wanted to read to me a book since his achieving this ever-increasing skill had progressed even more in his kindergarten year just completed.   I was duly impressed as he pretty fluently read long sentences (for him), successfully sounded out a few initially challenging words, accepted some cues or prompts on others as needed from his folks.  All in all we had a delightful conversation, then my grandson later went off to seek his own entertainment and we adults, sometimes just my son and I, caught up with the “doin’s” in each other’s lives.

Updates on my needs, concerns, welfare are always a basis of inquiry from my son or daughter though I dutifully keep them regularly posted.   My daughter and I tend to have long phone conversations, preferring our landlines when we talk, though all have smart phones (except me as I still prefer to use my old cell phone).    Shorter conversations from my now young adult granddaughter occur which I especially treasure knowing how busy young people’s lives can be.   In between these contacts we all text and email, sometimes daily, occasionally several times a day, individually or in a group dialogue. 

What a contrast all this communication is compared with what I had with my Mother, MIL and other family living then when we lived such a distance from each other years ago.   Long distance phone calls could be expensive, though we had progressed past the time when such a call meant some catastrophe had occurred or someone had died.    We did make an effort to take advantage of hours when reduced phone rates applied.   We wrote letters mostly.  I often typed mine on my Royal portable which I still have. 

I read recently typewriters are gaining renewed use and appreciation much as long playing vinyl records (LPs) -- news reports Sony is now pressing LPs again.   Increasing numbers of discerning music listeners desire the fullness of LP sound over that of digital just as I determined and told skeptical others so many years ago after listening to CDs.   

Sometimes when tape recorders became more reasonably priced and reduced in size with cassettes, we dictated verbal letters to my Mother (as her vision was failing), and brother in Hawaii – the rest of us were scattered about on the Mainland -- mailing them to each other.  I still have one tape (if it hasn’t disintegrated) of my mother’s voice and wish I had saved more, including one with my now-deceased only brother and sibling. 


GARDENER

Today, I succumbed to a personable young gardener I didn’t know or had never employed.    He unexpectedly came to my door offering to spread a combination mix of mulch and fertilizer to my yard as partial protection against our excessive summer heat.  His English was limited but he said he’d return in 14 days to see how the grass was doing.   I think he’ll be as good as his word (left a phone number), but if he doesn’t come, that’s okay with me.   I never respond to the rare solicitor at the door as they have to be licensed in our city.  I usually confront them to show me the license they’re required to carry, and I even phone the local non-emergency police number as we’re urged to do with any uninvited strangers.  “See something – Say something!” 

I still have some semblance of grass in all front yard areas but the parkway I converted to bark several years ago, disconnecting the sprinklers to that area.  Drought effects had a severe deleterious effect on my yard, but the grass never was in the pristine condition as it had been before when my husband was living and supervising the care once he could no longer do the labor himself.   I have the same gardeners but think I may not have been as meticulous in following a schedule fertilizing and whatever else my husband might have been doing. He had written instructions on everything but that in his notes, so I assumed the gardeners automatically took care of the treatments.  I will convert away from this grass eventually for less watering which I already restrict.

My gardeners are limited English speakers (Spanish) but we communicate well enough.  I’m very pleased with the tall hedges, shrubbery trimming they do, personally like any of the gardener’s young helpers with their good-natured humor and manner, so retain them.  I can always phone his home, where an unaccented native-English sounding speaker daughter will take my message which she relays to her father.

Perhaps part of my attitude somehow reflects a connection to my husband I may feel on some level – knowing they knew him.   He was discerning of human-kind.  He trusted them.  I trust them and have not been disappointed in their fairness.  They seem most anxious and responsive to pleasing me, whereas I’m more inclined to have them “just do it” and expecting them to know what to do without my direction.   I’m sure my husband had been very directive. 


LIVING IN PLACE

Being free of house and yard upkeep inside and out sometimes becomes a very attractive idea.   I review in my mind all the services available to me here in our city that will be of help if I ever need them – transportation, house-keeping, Girl Friday for errands, near by grocery/pharmaceutical/restaurants that also offer home delivery, home health care, close proximity to my top quality hospital and doctors, Meals On Wheels and even a socialization group for home-bound people if I choose to join.

I consider the reputable licensed electrician and another who is a carpenter I’ve occasionally hired, that have demonstrated their trustworthiness and assured me they’ll provide any handyman services, to be important members of any needed support team.  I’m reminded of solicitous neighbors though we interact infrequently – but like yesterday, I found outside my door a sandwich bag full of cherry tomatoes my young neighbors across the street must have harvested from their garden before leaving for a long holiday weekend since I observe their car is gone.

Most days I think only of how much I enjoy continuing to live in my home even though I’ve been so remiss in not yet undertaking long delayed much-needed redecorating of the interior.   I still need to downsize my “stuff”, sort through clothes I’ve saved in different sizes, dispose of work-related materials I likely won’t use in the future, cull my book library, just to name a few attack areas.  I don’t want to leave all this for my children to cope with.    I continue to remain dedicated to the “living in place” concept, living in my home.

I leave open the possibility of moving closer to either of my children as they have encouraged me to do for many years now.   Neither of them have any interest in returning to live in California, though I think it might be a possibility in the distant future for one of them -- I could be wrong.  My philosophy all my life has been to "keep my options open", so if circumstances warrant I will acquiesce to leaving this more desirable climate.  But I've told them both, that if my mind completely goes it won't matter much where I am.  

No doubt you have future plans or arrangements for retirement and/or older age living should you find yourself suddenly living alone, becoming less mobile, or in the event you experience unpredictable health changes.   If not, it's never too early or too late to consider.