28 October 2014

Heard from a Friend today

As I was finishing my lunch today, my cell phone rang. Since I was busy finishing some fried chicken, I had to let the call go to voicemail. As soon as I finished my lunch I washed my hands and checked on voicemail. The call was from a friend that has been going through a rough time and he wanted to talk.
I checked my calendar and saw that I had approximately 1 hour until my next meeting and I didn’t hesitate to call him back immediately. There was nothing major that needed to be done in preparation for the meeting, and friends are the most important things in my life. I was glad that I did.
He is doing better today than he has been in the last few weeks and he actually wanted to call and let me know this. I was thrilled to hear that he is handling things better and making some progress against some rather formidable challenges. Calling him to let him know that I still have his back was definitely the right thing to do.
I know some people that would have “gotten around to calling him back”, especially since his message was upbeat. I cannot act like that to a friend. I wanted to let him know that not only did I receive his message, but that I wanted him to know that I shared his joy at making progress. He seemed rather surprised when I called him back, but he quickly began to tell me what had gone on and what was going on. I think that celebrating with someone is just as important as commiserating with them when things aren’t going well.

We talked for nearly 30 minutes before he mentioned that he had to go. He thanked me again for calling him back so quickly. I told him that it was great to hear his voice and that talking to him had made my day. It is the smallest things that we do for each other that usually makes the biggest difference. I wish that I could do more of this. I wish that we as a society did more of this. If we did, the world would be a much better place.

27 October 2014

We are NOT safer with guns

    After yet another shooting at a school in America, we are faced with the pointless exercise of asking why things like this happen. I am tired of all of the exxcuses. These tragedies happen because America is infested with guns. The fact that tens of thousands of Americans die every year from gun-related incidents seems to be one that we have chosen to ignore. I want to know why we are so willing to accept this slaughter without action.

    There are people who argue that having a gun makes them safer. I have my doubts that this is true, because if it were there would be clearly demonstrable evidence that this is the case. Instead, all of the statistical evidence points to people being much more likely to be killed or injured in a home where a gun is present. That is not to say that every home with a gun will experience a tragedy, because to say that would be disingenuous, yet the people who seem to worship guns are the ones that use the same flawed logic to justify NOT controlling the proliferation of guns in this country by claiming that having those guns makes them safer!

    There are too many people who calim to believe that our country was based on the concept of being armed at all times. I have yet to find any real documentation that such an environment ever existed except in western movies where guns are always used to settle problems. This portion of the population always seems to think that we need to solve our problems with gun as often as possible. They often tie this belief to a peculiar brand of Christianity and claim that by being armed to the teeth and threatening the lives of others that they are somehow the true protectors of America. This is a very offensive position that I simply cannot agree with.

    I find it not surpsing at all that this type of belief system has been promulgated through the media. How many movies are there are "renegade" good cops or civilians that solve every obstacle through the use of guns? How strange is it that we have a cable channel dedicated to the military thata recently changed its name to the American Heroes Channel, and that now adds bulk religious prrograms to their schedule?

    The connection between religious fiundamentalism and guns is no different here than it is in the Middle East, and the objectives of both groups are the same which is the concentration of political power for themselves by combining religion and weapons both to protect themselves and to encourage them to sprerad their beliefs. Speaking as an Atheist, I find nothing religious at all in these lunatics, only the religions that they claim to be protecting in the name of their own political power structures.

    With the availability of guns comes the resulting slaughter of Americans by Americans every year. The disturbing trend of a troubled youth taking guns from their homes and then dealing death at their schools in order to redress real or percieved slights should alarm us all. Instead of thinking about ways to relate to one another in more positive and encouraging ways, we get the proposed solution that we need even MORE weapons available at schools in order to "protect ourselves" from the same lunatics that society seems to produce with such proficiency.

    After every tragedy, when the subject of guns is brought up for debate the response is alweays the same. "To debate the issue now shows lack of respect to the grieving families of the victims". This is bullshit because if we addressed the problem then there would not be nearly as many families grieving in the first place! So we  roll along from one school shooting to another and nothing is ever done. I can still recall the heartbreak when I heard about Newtown.

I was at a celebratory lunch with some current and former coworkers. The TV at the restaraunt was providing details of the tragedy as it unfolded but the conversation from the others at the table instantly turned into an "Obama will be coming for our guns now" type of event. I paid my check and left them at the table rather than listen to more of their crap. Their entire personalities were  changing before mny very eyes. There was no sense of outrage over what had happened, and their conversation became one in which the person  who shouted the conservative talking points the loudest was considered the smartest person at the table.

    The hardest people to reason with are those who consider themselves to be "Right with God". This position gives them the emotional  security that they need to justify doing nothing in the face of tragedies such as Newtown or Maryville.

    This brings me back to the original point. When we will as a nation, do something to stop the slaughter?

26 October 2014

Which way is up?

    After my bout with insomnia last night, I lost by the way, I am struggling to make my way through this day. I had to take Hal to work due to car troubles that he is having and I will be going to pick him up later this afternoon. After he woke me up after a fitful and fruitless few hours of semi-sleep this morning, I have been trying to get something of my normal Sunday routine in place.

    I have not been successful thus far, I am still exhausted and afraid that if I go to take a nap now that Hal will be calling me later asking where I am and why I have not arrived to pick him up. Luckily, I did the cooking yesterday because I certainly don't feel like doing it right now. I managed to remember to prepare tomorrows lunch for work so now all I have to do is remember to take it with me tomorrow morning!

    Since the imsomnia also triggered a migraine that has kept me company all day, I am not in the best of moods. My BG is rather high as well, another consequence of the insomnia to deal with. I am allegedly watching football this afternoon, although in reality I just have NFL RedZone turned on and the volume very low almost to the point of being on mute. I will keep myself going until I pick Hal up frrom work at around 5:30 this afternoon and then I am really tempted to take some extra BG medicine and crawl into bed and try to recover the sleep that I was robbed of last night.

    The Stooges have been very attentive today. I have always believed that animals can sense when something is wrong before we can. I am extremely grateful for their company this afternoon. Of course, feeding them enhanced their affection, but we all have our price.

    

08 October 2014

I Made It!

    The last few pay cycles have been rather difficult. I have been busily making up the cost of the move last summer and trying to get back onto my feet. As I checked on my account balance today, I found that I actually have money left over and have NOT gone into my savings at all this pay cycle!
    I cannot describe the feeling I have right now. I am not claiming victory in the never-ending struggle with bills, but this really helps me out. The money left over from last paycheck will be going into savings on payday. I want to keep it there and continue to build on it.
    I can easily identify the reason that this has happened. I stayed at home and did not go out for dinner. I spent money at the grocery store and made meals at home. This really made a difference in the budget. I refused to fall into the routine of being "too tired to cook" and using that as an excuse for ordering dinner. For the cost of a few dinners eating out, I was able to put together a nice selection of items and cook them up at home. Eating out should be a once-in-a-while event and not an everyday occurrence for me. Plus, I got to have what I wanted when I wanted without the hassle of getting dressed and going out.


    


     This is a routine that I can get used to. To see money left in my checking account on payday is a great feeling. Knowing that this money will go to my savings account every 2 weeks means that I can begin to grow my savings once again. I have goals set for the savings account, but those have fallen into the cracks along the way. I will dust them off and make certain that they are put back onto my priorities list once again. I am glad that I decided to make a conscious change in my behavior and even more glad to see that it is paying off!