To The Victor Go The Spoils

Imagine with me for a minute. You are with a group of people living in America. People far away are telling you what you can and you can’t do. It is their way or the highway. How would you feel? Of course, this is a situation you would have found leading up to the Revolutionary War in North America. It is also a situation you would have found in the southern states of the United States of America in the lead up to the Civil War.

Let me be TOTALLY clear about something. Racism is wrong. But it is not an “American problem”. Slavery was and is wrong. But slave labor happened in all cultures through history, and in some forms still happens to this day. That being said…

When two parties go to war, the winner of that war has won the right to re-write history and future as they see fit. This war-mongering and subsequent actions were the way politics played out commonly. However, slowly, the humans of planet Earth have realized their life expectancy can go UP when their posturing goes DOWN. Now they refer to these behaviors as bullying on an international level.

But, when war does happen, it is still anticipated by the losers that they will face the need to “repay” for their actions in a number of different ways. It is still anticipated by the winners that they will get to fashion the picture of history and the future to make them more comfortable.

I set all this stage for a reason that should be obvious if you keep up with the news. They are taking down monuments in New Orleans that have been part of the city for DECADES. Forcing removal and disallowing monuments of the like back when the Civil War was over would have been expected. To me, the removal of these monuments now feels vindictive. Wrong or right, these monuments are part of the heritage of the south. But only part. Instead of removing them, why can’t we add, as Paul Harvey would put it, “The Rest Of The Story”?

Yes, they are monuments to those who fought to preserve the “way of the South” when it comes to slavery.

But they were also fighting for the right to be represented by a government who they felt was seeing to their needs and wants. They were fighting for the right to legislate as they wished in each state. They were fighting for their individual identities as Southerners, and as residents of their respective states, all while fighting for the agreed on notion of what was the common good for them all.

WHAT they were trying to protect may have been wrong. WHY they were trying to protect it is the same reason every war is fought. WHAT they were trying to protect was bound to die out anyway. WHY they were trying to protect it are reasons that are considered righteous reasons when you chose to go to war. Only after that war is over do the winners get to say that the WHY was evil. Here’s the funny thing. In the Civil War, both sides had the same WHY. Only the WHAT was different.

Whitewashing history does not remove the troubles of that history. It only pushes those movements underground, where they can grow out of sight. They grow unchecked. Why not leave the history up and add to it? Battle those who still espouse and engender the values of WHAT the South was fighting for with EDUCATION about why the WHAT was wrong?

One way or the other, good luck to New Orleans. I truly hope their actions provide the peace they are seeking by taking those actions.

No Laughing Matter

Being homeless is no laughing matter. While some who are homeless were responsible for their downfall, others were victims. Everyone in that situation can use a little help.

Around where I work my day job, it is not uncommon to see homeless and transients standing at a street corner with some sign in hand giving a Reader’s Digest description of their plight, all while requesting some assistance from good willed people passing by. In a situation like that, I would think humor is a double-edge sword. It can either help your cause greatly, or it can harm your efforts.

One man I saw on the way back from lunch today decided to try humor, and admittedly, I chuckled when I saw it. His sign said “She had the better lawyer!”

Transmission Turmoil

The timing was funny that I was watching the season finale of Scorpion last night, where I watched a mechanical device cause an electrical disruption. That irony was lost on me until just a few minutes ago.

After having a leak in my clutch assembly a few weeks back, the mechanics had to drop the transmission to get to the leak to fix it. After getting it back, there had been a few times I noticed a power drop off at the top of my third gear.

This happened to me again today while on the freeway (Bronx cheer, anyone?), heading to have lunch with my wife. However, I was not where I could shift out of 3rd right away, and my engine flamed out. I coasted down the overpass, off my exit, and to a side street JUST in time to lose all momentum.

Despite having electrical power for my radio, my gauges, my A/C, etc… it wouldn’t start. A battery jump finally started it. I got the battery and alternator tested out shortly after, and there is no problem.

Have I ever told you that I don’t like problems that I can’t find an answer to?

Witch Hunt

This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

– President Donald J. Trump

I have to agree.

“What? Tim, are you a Trump supporter? Do you really believe his lies?”

Listen. I am not a fan of the man. I’m not even saying that I think he is squeaky clean in what’s been going on. But what proof have you?

“He invited Russia to mess with Hillary’s campaign during a press conference.”

No, the man is a blow hard, carnival barking promoter. He’s going to say what he needs to get your attention. He sure got it!

“His appointees have been talking with Russia and doing them favors.”

Do you have proof he knew of it before hand or asked them to do it? Vice President Mike Pence is closer to being culpable than Trump is. However, political appointees have been nailed doing bad things for years. And they come from both sides of the ideological isle.

“The Republicans were on tape saying Trump got paid by the Russians.”

A congressman speculated something. They speculate all the time! Why are they considered an authority on Trump’s personal matters? They didn’t want him in office as much as they didn’t want Hilary in office. That leaked tape comes off so “Hogan’s Heroes” in my mind.

I could go on.

No one has presented a smoking gun.

There may still be a smoking gun, but politicians and the media alike didn’t want this man to be where he is. This is definitely a witch hunt of massive proportions. What is still left to be determined is if the man is a witch.

Once again, I will remind you I am not a fan of Trump, nor of many of his administration. I am also not a fan of any politician these days. They are all self-serving.

I only wish we had some more European-like rules where if Trump was impeached and convicted, that we could just call for snap elections and kick everyone out of Washington ourselves.

Best Burger

A new poll…

Best Burger

Now, I’ve tried about half of this list. All the burgers I have tried are good. To me, they are like comparing apples and oranges.

Speaking of orange, there is one I am particularly fond of. Number 6 on the poll, and number 1 in my heart! When you add those french fries and that addicting ketchup? Yum!

As far as this relates to my previous post, I’ve had no more than 10 burgers in the past 6 months. 🙂

It’s Obvious I Was Oblivious

My weight loss over the last six months was not purposefully started. That’s probably what made it so effective. But once I started to look at ways to enhance the effort through my diet, I became focused on numerous things I wasn’t before.

I’ve gone Paleo, at least in premise. You’re supposed to avoid legumes and processed grains as part of the diet. But, you are also allowed cheat meals 15% of the time. I’ve not avoided legumes or processed grains, and my cheat meals are more like 35% of the time.

Here’s what I have found. You don’t have to chose a diet plan, just be cognizant of certain things.

  • I weigh myself nearly every morning. If I have eaten ANYTHING past 10pm, good for me or not, I’ve put on weight.
  • Portion control is important. You can always eat again in another couple of hours if you’re that hungry. Think about what your parents said to you growing up. Wait for 15 minutes and see if you are still hungry before getting more food.
  • If you struggle with your weight, take note of the times you’ve put on weight and/or feel not as good as normal. Note what you ate in the last 24-48 hours. You may need to adjust amounts or drop all together certain types of food.
  • If you struggle with drinking water, try drinking tea. There are actually additional health benefits to tea. Plus, it gives you flavors. Also, if you need your tea to have any level of sweet, use honey and/or unprocessed sugar, but only in moderation.
  • If you struggle to handle multiple hurdles at the same time, gain a handle on your eating habits first. Turn those new eating patterns in to habits, then they will be second nature when you start to find useful exercise habits.

I’ve let my eating habits slip in the past few days. The scales said I’ve put on 4 pounds in three days, but I felt it before even getting on the scales. It’s obvious I was oblivious to what certain foods were doing to me in the past. Now that I am aware, I am hyper aware.

Right Of Way

The first intersection I go through every morning is a simple one. Two multi-lane roads intersection with full sets of traffic lights. I need to turn right at this intersection. The only time traffic law compels me to stop is if that light is red.

So I’m getting out once again and taking my son to school. As I’m approaching the light, it is green. However, there is a vehicle stopped at the intersection in the lane in front of me. Not being prepared to stop, I have to slam on my brakes. For those who might flip out about this, there was no close call, near miss, or anything of the sorts. Just me not happy.

I honk, and the driver of the car ahead of me sticks his hand out the window and makes a motion like he is telling me to simmer down. This sequence happens again two other times. After all the cars from the other side of the intersection turning left have gone, then he goes.

After getting to the next intersection, this car passes by me while I’m waiting on the red light and is STILL telling me to simmer. I’m thinking I wouldn’t have been there for him to do that had he just gone when he was supposed to.

At this point, I want to stew and grumble and complain on social media. But in the off case I was forgetting something, I go on Facebook and ask others to tell me what the right-of-way rules they remember are.

I’m still annoyed and perturbed, but at least vindicated.

And no, I would have never road raged on this guy. I prefer to avoid conflict unless absolutely necessary.

Government, Not Politics

There is an industry surrounding politics. It is called Washington, D.C. For those who become skilled operators, there is money to be had in this industry. When this country was formed, there was framework for a government. But now, politics prevent the government from working.

In government, you keep things running. In politics, you tell the people that you fixed something your predecessor broke. In government, you defend the country. In politics, you do everything you can to become the hero of that defense. In government, it is about continuity. In politics, it is about power.

I do not want to hear about who is running for office 500 DAYS OUT. I would support a law that outlaws campaigning for any office in the country more than 365 days from the election day scheduled.

If people could live their lives, maybe they might be more informed about choices when they come up. Maybe they might be more willing to take part in the process, because they felt like it’s not the same old thing.

It’s government. Not politics.

And keep it out of the news cycle. It is NOT that important to burn your audience out on a topic before the topic absolutely must matter.

Manners

So J-Mac and I set off to Hobby Lobby to do a Mother’s Day shopping trip. With a little guidance, J-Mac picks his gifts for Mom!

When we got there, I put him in a basket outside the store, then we waited for an older couple to exit the store before we went in. As they exited, J-Mac said “THANK YOU”, to which I didn’t think anything of. I hear it numerous times because he’s been taught to say it at hopefully the right time.

As the couple cleared from the door way, we started to go in. However, the lady came back to open the door back. I tried to tell her it was OK and we could get it. But she said, “No, he said thank you, and so I need to hold the door open.”

Perfect Example

A few years ago, there was an uproar about a new law in Georgia. The only problem is that uproar didn’t come until after the law was passed. It was a distracted driving law. Most everyone will say “I’m in favor of such a law!” But people threw a fit when Georgia law enforcement started issuing tickets.

They pulled over people for eating in their car.

WHAT?!?

Yeah, you read right.

Two cases in particular that made the news were someone eating a cheeseburger and another person eating food with a dipping sauce. At its heart, most people will say that these are innocuous examples and those people are not distracted.

I will give most people credit that they can navigate and masticate at the same time, but I saw a perfect example today of why such a law makes sense. I’m getting on the Interstate highway today and the truck in front of me is taking its time. The driver at one point looks down, which would appear to someone looking from far off as he might be checking a phone. However, once I pass him, I see he has a half-eaten breakfast burrito in one hand (the same hand grasping the steering wheel), and a Big Gulp in the other, taking a big slurp. He goes to put the drink back down, takes his eyes fully off the road, and the hand still on the steering wheel follows the rest of his body. It was just enough time to cause a wreck.

So I’ll just leave this tidbit right here. It is something I learned in driver’s education, BEFORE cell phones were an issue. The instructor said: “Where your eyes and your body go, so do the car.”