Becoming

This started out as a facebook post but then edited it and put it here.

I’m contemplating this morning why so many people are so unhappy and their lives are so unproductive. Only as children are we victims of circumstances. I believe however with age, we have the choice and responsibility to put on our adult panties and take complete responsibility for who we become. Some will…some won’t. Some do so while young, for others it is a long tough life long struggle. Image result for lethargy

What I have read, and now believe is that one becomes what you focus on, think about, etc. Everything we expose ourselves to and participate in shapes us. Hang out with lowlifes, guess what. We begin to act like and even look like the people we hang out with. Hang out with haters, bullies, cheaters and con artists, that’s what one learns.

Hang out with creators, makers, movers and shakers, and you learn, and often get asked to ride along. It is more challenging. It is more risky. It requires some vulnerability, a willingness to fail. But it is oh so worth it.

I started reading and researching happiness when I was pretty miserable back in my 20’s. I learned “if it is to be, then it is up to me”. Read books. Listened to audio tapes…cassette tapes that is. Changed my beliefs. Changed my thoughts. Changed my habits of thinking and doing. Changed who I hung out with. As scary at times as it was, I tried new things, made new friends, some of which I am still friends with 40 years later. Tried lots of different jobs, some lasted a day or two, others for a few years. Moved from Cleveland to Kent, OH. Along the way, also visited and lived in multiple places like DC, Pittsburgh, Vermont, Maine. Eventually, moved to NC. Now TN.

To a certain degree, my choices were the safer ones. The life on the edge never appealed to me. I skipped the drugs, heavy partying, and risky behavior. A few disappointments along the way of course. Stayed in school. Then dropped out, then back when I knew what I wanted to study.

Back in the day, it was Zig Zigler, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Wayne Dyer, Steven Covey. All very very successful and seemingly happy. It wasn’t spiritual, but more formulaic. Formulas were safe. For the spiritual stuff, I turned to psychic and mystical authors, e.g., Ruth Montgomery, Jane Roberts, and others. I tried traditional religion and upon closer inspection, it couldn’t answer the logical questions and didn’t meet my spiritual needs.

Finally, about 10 years ago, someone recommended Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly”. Her research brought together everything I knew from before and provided the basic most fundamental ingredient for finding the joy, joy, joy down in my heart, and the peace that passes understanding, and the strength to carry on, to do the scary stuff. Here it is. Self worth. My lack of it hindered me along the way. To the degree that I have understood it and embraced it, my life has flourished.

In retrospect, it certainly has been an adventure. Three colleges. Two college degrees. Taught in 12 different schools over the course of 27 years. Tried selling cars. Failed. Tried selling insurance. Failed. Tried working in a factory. Hated it. Tried selling satellite dishes, nutritional supplements, and air purifiers. Mostly failed. Waiting on tables and teaching seemed to be the best fit. Excellent waiter. Pretty good teacher. Teaching is a moving target and hard to know how effective one is. I did the best I could.

One can make excuses or one can get on with it. There is no shortage of information, i.e, suggestions on how to grow, excel and make a life. Information is more readily available than ever. It isn’t fast. It isn’t easy. It is a long slow forward moving journey. Good friends make it easier. Good luck. You are worth it.

My friend Stuart sent this to me as a comment on Facebook..thus, making it public and free to the world.  Try it, you’ll like it.

Emotion Hacks for Healthy Eating

My sister share an article the other day that relates to changing ones’ habits to increase health and well being (aka “diet”).  A little rough to follow but here is what I got out of it.

He says “Instead of putting our noses ever closer to the grindstone, he advocates relying on so-called social emotions—gratitude, compassion, and pride—to get things done. These emotions, he says, naturally encourage self-control and patience.” Willpower will fail by itself, and your rational thinking.  Mental fatigue kicks in, and the desire to feel good in the present throws the future out the window.

I’m all about understanding the emotions that contribute to unhealthy addictions.  I think there are so many principles from AA that come into play, and for us serious overeaters, it is an addiction, based in our emotions. For me, childhood emotions that used food to sooth the isolation and hopelessness. And when I feel a isolated now, I head for the cookie jar. One day at a time. Easy does it. Maybe you can suggest some more?

Consider this.  Maybe your beliefs and emotions are different than his cookie cutter approach.  But what if you could identify what really matters for you, and what your emotional strengths are, and then use those for changing your health habits.  TA DAA!!!  Here it is.  the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. helps you identify your greatest strengths.  If you can find a way to use your greatest strengths at the task at hand, i seems you will enjoy it more and be more successful.

My results show:

My Top Strengths:

  • Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith.
  • Humor and playfulness
  • Fairness, equity, and justice
  • Gratitude
  • Forgiveness and mercy
  • Curiosity and interest in the world
  • Creativity, ingenuity, and originality

My emotional hack?  Focus on how this health regimen journey has multiple purposes, physical, practical and spiritual.  Make it fun, practice gratitude for small accomplishments, go easy on myself, seek out new ways to go forward, and explore ways to make it work for me.

Finally, I’ve used this other personality test to identify strengths AND weakness (aka areas needing improvement) to understand what and how to do things to be more effective and enjoy it more too.  I’ll spare you my details but give it a shot.  Reading it is like having a friend tell you all the wonderful things about you…and those areas of needed improvement.

 

All for now.  Feedback is welcomed.

 

 

 

Thanks to a Broken Present

Dec. 29 A.M. Thoughts

father-son-argumentOn Facebook,  two of my friends were arguing back and forth about Trump. One friend is in his late 50s. The other friend is a former student, and is now  18 or 20 years old. One is extreme right wing, repeating the right wing talking points and childhood indoctrination. The other, a more independent, liberal and well-read. But the thing that struck me most was that the older gentleman said he had been a conservative Christian for 50 years of his life.  Something, maybe Trump, made him re-evaluate. But why did he wait 50 years to change his beliefs. 

I about how I came to the place of where I am and what I believe. I’ll admit, I’m “out there”. Reading and listening to a variety of viewpoints, I have pursued and chosen the beliefs I have.  They will continue to change with new information. 

My question to you is: Why do you believe what you believe?

Back in my 20s, I would listen to a guy named Brian Tracy and others on cassette tape. He had a list of “Ten  Beliefs of Peak Performing Men and Women”. It is so powerful, that I made it into a poster and put it in my classroom, and would often refer to it when talking with students. Number five was the hardest  to explain. It reads: “Your beliefs are a choice.”

Ask most middle school or high school kids what they believe and they will say “That’s just the way I was raised.”  But adults who have had time and ready access to information from all over the world?  Many will still say “Well I don’t know. I’ve always believed that way. I was raised that way.” And in my head I’m thinking really? You’ve got a God given brain and it’s never occurred to you to question the information that’s been rammed down your throat since you were a kid?”

If someone were to ask me one what I thought was one of the most important idea or principle,  I would say this. Your beliefs are choice. 

And how does one change your beliefs? We often hear “You become what you think about.” You train your thoughts and your beliefs through repetition through conscious effort. I gather information from multiple sources. I observe. Listen. Read. Feel.  One’s beliefs I’m told are nothing more than a thoughts one keeps having over and over. Choose carefully what you listen to, as the pattern will sink in.  I consciously listen to TED talks with uplifting positive messages, and sometimes information that challenges my beliefs.  If it is news, I’ll skim the more reputable news sites.  That excludes Fox and the Drudge Report. 

Why change?  I needed to.  I grew up thinking life sucks. I now think life is a precious gift. I used to think life was a zero-sum game, a win/loose proposition, a scarcity mentality perspective where there is only enough for some but not all. I now believe in in abundance. There’s enough for everyone (if distributed equitably). No need to hoard or stash away huge amounts of wealth.

choice of attitudeIf you choose what you read, listen to and watch, then you choose your beliefs. Your attitude, your mood, and your reactions to life’s challenges follows suit.  I think that when I practice gratitude consciously, like the last thing I do when I go to be, or think when I wake up,  it becomes a habit.

stockings

We were opening Christmas presents. Overflowing stockings were hung  on the fireplace mantel. The 10 year old desperately wanted to pass out stockings. The father said “be careful, don’t drop them.” I was cringing slightly because I knew in the bottom of one stocking was a coffee cup. Ceramic. And not well cushioned. The first stocking was distributed successfully. The second.  The third stocking holding the ceramic cup was dropped onto the marble hearth. It crashed. It broke. There was no question in my mind that this cup was irreparable.

For a brief moment, I cursed under my breath. I wanted to blame and judge, frustrated that the child had not been better supervised or instructed. And then, my practicedthought  took over. I said outloud “Everything is as it should be.”  Also, “ There are lots of valuable lessons to learn here.” The father commented that he should have explained how to hold the stockings so they wouldn’t be dropped. Good lesson. My lesson, if you’re going to put ceramic up into a stocking, cushion it more thoroughly and don’t put it on the bottom. 

broken cupIronically, molded into the side of the cup was a single word. Gratitude.  Thank heaven it wasn’t something more expensive that hit the marble. Thank heaven it didn’t land on the 10 year old’s foot. Thank heaven, it can be easily replaced. Thank heaven nothing else broke. And thank heaven for all these wonderful, generous people who gather on holidays to express appreciation and love for one another.

If you find yourself quick to judge,  quick to express a negative emotion, consider the idea that emotions and attitude are a direct result of your beliefs, and  your beliefs are a choice. Beliefs may not be easy to change but it is an option. what you choose to read and watch is yours to decide. And beliefs follow suit.

beliefs of peak

In case you want to make your own poser:

Beliefs Unique to All Peak Performing Men and Women

  1. Winners are not born. They are made.
  2. The dominant force in your existence is the way you think.
  3. You can create your own reality.
  4. There is some benefit to be had from every hardship.
  5. Each one of your beliefs is a choice.
  6. You are never defeated until you stop trying.
  7. The only limits are ones that you impose.
  8. You have the potential to excel in one key area of your life.
  9. There can be no great success without great commitment.
  10. You need the support of others to achieve your goals.

tracy

 

A. M. Thoughts on Thanksgiving Eve

Regrets.  Woulda, coulda shoulda.  I’m not the man I  could have been.

Today I read the article below. “Being gentle with ourselves every day means giving ourselves credit for what we’ve already accomplished, not getting stuck in the “woulda, coulda, shouldas,” and giving ourselves a path of hope for everything that is yet to come.” from https://therapychanges.com/blog/2017/05/gentle/

Why am I not the man I could have been.  Do you feel like you are all that you can be?

Overall, I feel very lucky.  It seems the right people came into my lives at the right time to give me a boost of sorts.  There have been enough challenges to force me to deal with just enough unpleasantness to want to make a change.  In high school, when I was heavy, and finding a dance partner was a challenge, so I lost weight.  When only a B student in college the first go around, I got serious the second time.  I learned how to study and memorize things more quickly, and disciplined my self to do the work.  Almost straight A’s from then on.

angst-clipart-6In high school,  I shied away from some things, like group sports in high school or group anything, like chorus, band, parties, etc.  I spent more time alone than a lot of kids then, or with one friend at a time, someone I felt safer with than a group, who i feared would see my imperfections, my unimportance, and see through my charade.  The battle inside, the time consuming decision making process of should I or shouldn’t I was often there.  Even when something or someone looked attractive, I struggled with the what if’s inside my head.  I spent far more time considering the downside of those what ifs than the upsides, and consequently missed a lot of fun and opportunities. I coulda been an actor, an athlete, an artist, a writer.  If not for the fear of exposure.  Contemplating asking someone out on a date was excruciating most of the time.

good old meA small caveat.  Some probably did not see me as emotionally constrained.  I fashioned a pretty good facade.  Good looks helped. I had older siblings whose stories and mannerisms I copied.  It worked for them after all. Sometimes I shined, when I let the creative juices flowed, and a few victories were won.

At 65, it is easy to look back.  Knowing what I know now, if I could go back, what would I do different.  You might see this as an exercise in futility.  I don’t think so.  It may help another if they read this.  The very same advice I would give to my 20 year old self, I give to my 65 year old self as well.

Never hesitate to be kind and generous.  I’ve missed out on a lot of relationships but there are lots more to have. But it isn’t just about how I could benefit.  It’s also how they could benefit from knowing me? My top most sorrow about my dad these days, who died when I was a junior in high school, and he was 47 is two fold.  I didn’t get to know or enjoy him. But the flip side is, he didn’t get to know me, and oh, how cool that could have been. richard and dad on the beach

schooner with bill and ellaDon’t worry about what other people think of you.  As they say in Alanon, what other people think of me is none of my business.  And there is nothing so gratifying of pursuing my own dream and finding success.  Whether they are critical or encouraging, it is minor compared to my own evaluation. My brothers will attest to the fact, that I don’t take advice much.  But taking some of those risks worked out for me.  A job in Maine on a sailboat for 8 months, diversifying my studies in college, resulting is a B.A. and an M.A. in “jack of all trades, master of none.” Perfect for teaching middle school shop.

Pace yourself.  Doing too much of one thing isn’t good for the body or mind, as it leads to mental, emotional or physical exhaustion. Take time to do things that charge your batteries.  One day at a time, or as Johnny Cash said, “One piece at a time.”  Moderation is key.  Whether it comes to food, exercise, alcohol, and commitments.  I don’t think there is a workaholic that I’d trade places with.

Now, more than ever, I think less and feel more.  How will I feel if I do this or that? I know I have the luxury of being retired so maybe it won’t work for everyone, especially if you are struggling to make ends meet, and take care of others.  I work part time, making my own hours for the most part, doing things that re fairly enjoyable.  With my relaxed schedule, and relative lack of concern of what others want from me or think of my, I get to ponder.  What would be fun?  What would give me a sense of achievement today.  What gives me joy. Who shall I call and talk to.  Where should I go, or invite myself, and look for opportunities for fun and friendship? It’s working for me.

As for the original point of regrets, and woulda coulda shoulda.  Sure it could have been different, maybe better.  I’ll have to accept that my journey was a little hit and miss, a little jerky perhaps.  I will hold the sentiment that I hold for everyone.  I did about the best I could under the circumstances.  However, knowing what I know now, I expect the next chapter of my life to be pretty interesting, fun and rewarding.

nov 2019

I’ve had enough

  • Have you had enough? Me too. I’ve had enough of so called representatives of the people who protect a president, well known before he was elected to be a womanizer, an accused alleged predator, a lousy businessman, a liar, and an adulterer. Image result for president trump with jeffrey
  • I’ve had enough! I’ve had enough of 8 years of nothing but opposition/obstruction  to anything Obama tried to do, no matter how worthwhile. You obstructed, because you couldn’t stand the thought of him succeeding.
  •  I’ve had enough whining and moaning while our brave public servants testify UNDER OATH of the truth of the events, while the GOP obstructs, whines and refuses to comply with legitimate subpoenas. In prior years, refusing to comply meant arrest and jail time.
  •  I’ve had enough of your bragging about all the jobs and growth of the stock market, when in fact income inequality is greater than ever since the census has been in effect. And the party of fiscal responsibility is mum about the record high deficit.
  •  I’ve had enough of bragging about low taxes in this state of TN while poverty levels and lack of affordable health care and education achievement is some of the worst in the country and affordable housing is so difficult to find.  
  •  I’ve had enough our our schools barely getting by, and teachers subjecting themselves to pay much lower than their professional peers for the benefit of children, and your governor takes even more money away from public schools for charter schools.
  • I’ve had enough of money in politics, where representatives have to worry about pleasing their corporate donors more than doing what is right for the people. 
  • I’ve had enough of a pay to play system where people are unqualified for the position they are given after giving a million dollar donation to the presidents inaugural fund.  
  • I’ve had enough of politicians that sit on their hands and look the other way in silent complicity while thousands of children are separated from their parents in violation of international law. 
  • I’ve had enough of politicians putting their heads in the sand refusing to look at the facts about the climate crisis and do nothing except whine that it is not 100% conclusive.  Image result for climate crisis
  • I’ve had enough of the obstruction in the Senate where McConnell refuses to bring a vote to over 200 measures that were passed in the house.  
  • I’ve had enough of tax breaks for the rich and little or nothing for the people that need it. 

I could go on and on. 

1fhe8gyrful11In summary, I’VE HAD ENOUGH of whining GOP representatives that refuse to be transparent, that prefer to twist the facts, ignore those in need, pass legislation that benefits the rich while the poor and the middle class try to make do on less. I’ve had enough of elected officials treating us like mushrooms, keeping us in the dark, and feeding us BS. 

In November, hopefully, you will see we have had enough of you as well.

Our older selves can speak to us.

I was sent a link to an article that talks about the five things needed to do to be happy.  Yeah, right.  Haven’t I read them all by now?  Out of respect and appreciation to the person that sent it, I opened it and read it.  One of the five ideas to me is  huge…a paradigm shift.

paradigm-shift-0318

I’ve been sorting and sifting through my Catholic upbringing, a short stint in Jesus Freakism and then in my 20’s started to explore parapsychology and mysticism.  The crowd I run with for now resonate with native American motifs, seven generations, and spirituality and the other talks about archetypes, corners, and Robert Bly, inner child, and healing.

20160256af9aa3ee08a

The paradigm I’m comfortable with these days, and imperfect to be sure is one that says we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.  Call it God, love, source, “all that is”is part of us, and we are part of it.  Same track maybe, or parallel tracks that sometimes split and we get a little lost along the way, only to find our way back to a place that honors all things and the spirit that resides in them.

I have looked to others for wisdom in the words they speak and still there is sifting and sorting and trying to make sense out of their words.   It is never quite complete or perfect.

do-not-follow-the-ideas-of-others-but-learn-to-listen-to-the-voice-within-yourself-your-body-and-mind-will-become-clear-and-you-will-realize-the-unity-of-allThe concept in the article resonates inside me. Speak to, or at least listen to your older self.  For me that means me, in my mid 80’s, who sees me, knows me, and despite the good, bad and ugly, mistakes and all, loves me.  That old man has wisdom for me, custom made, and perfectly suited to my situation.

He is also a reminder  of my mortality.  He says, make the years count.  There is no destination but the process is what counts.  Therefore, make each day count.  Never miss a moment to show kindness and appreciation.  If you feel the urge, call someone, and by doing so, you may cheer up both you and the other. If there is an opportunity to learn and have fun at the same time, go for it.  It may be theatre again, as it was last year. Or it might be a new job. A new club.  Hanging out and making new friends at the senior center. Volunteering for a worthy cause. It may be with family scattered around the east coast. It may be dancing, or singing, or a festival or a holiday celebration.  Show up. Make it count.

article-2643858-1E55436500000578-585_634x366My older wiser self also tells me not to get complacent.  There are enough good years left and you don’t want to squander those years with bad health.  If you are going to dance, travel and play, to fully appreciate those things, you need a certain level of health?

Older self says “Check in with me next time you have the temptation for that donut, cookie, sugar sweet drink.  I won’t tell you what to do, but let’s have a conversation about it.  We’ll talk ever so briefly about your goals, what you hope to accomplish, and how to best share your many gifts with the world.images Because if you are not healthy enough to participate fully, it won’t be as rich and good as it could be. It’s your choice.  You can settle for some temporary pleasure, but look around you.  Who lives life to the fullest?  Who has given up and just taking up space?  The choice is yours.”

 

Beliefs are a Choice

Power of Beliefs

beliefs

While lying on the couch this a.m, I started musing about beliefs.  I’ve heard, and have grown to believe that a. Beliefs are a choice and b. “Beliefs are just thoughts you keep having over and over.”  

imagesThere is a big difference between beliefs and facts.  Of course there is some grey area but something as well documented as the sun rising in the a.m. and the planetary path around the sun we hold as facts.  Throw a rock into the air, and it comes down. Our interpretation of why something happens is where our beliefs come in. Opinions on why something does or doesn’t happen,  maybe are more of an expression of beliefs than of facts.  

A belief is evident when you interpret and may even judge a situation or a person, especially yourself.  a belief about your abilities and learning has been thoroughly researched and documented in growth mindset vs a fixed mindset.

For example:

Let’s first look at some minor irritations.

Another driver cuts me off  .

Possible interpretations:

  1. What a jerk.  He did that just to piss me off.  Where’s my gun when I need it.
  2. Poor guy doesn’t know how to drive.  Probably didn’t have the good teachers I had.
    1. I need to pay more attention to the other driver.
  1. One belief system asserts blame, and being an innocent victim.
  2. Another belief assumes legitimate reasons for others seeming ignorance and is tolerant. 

 

An example for my teacher friends:

Kids in my class do not behave, or pay attention, or put forth very little effort, and then complain when I give them a grade. misbehaviour

Possible interpretations:

  1. They are lazy, stupid and a victim of their own doing.  Furthermore, they deserve the grade they get and the miserable life they are going to have.  (Punishment and justification.)
  2. There is a good reason they are struggling.  Maybe their home life, maybe genetics and unidentified learning disability, or they have been beaten down by life and others that they no longer have hope that effort will do any good. (Assumes all human beings are naturally happy, loving, and motivated and when not acting that way, there is a good reason for it.  More compassionate and problem solving oriented.) 

 

An example in human relations: 

A social event is coming up, like a contra dance.  I don’t know anyone that goes to those. I’ve asked other friends if they will go with me but they don’t want to go, or they are not available to go tonight.  Do I go or stay home? My beliefs about myself, in effect, my sense of self worth will determine my beliefs and my decision.

dance inspirational-quotes-dance-sing-3

   If I go by myself, people may not like me.  I won’t dance well ‘cause I’ve never done it and they will like me even less. I might not look like them (color, size, shape, etc.)  I’m going to feel awkward, if not downright terrible. Worse yet, I’ll come home, despondent, and probably sorry I tried. If they don’t like me, either it confirms my worthlessness, OR confirms my suspicion that most people suck. (Low self esteem or feelings of unworthiness.)

OR

I may not know anyone but maybe I will.  I won’t know unless I go. I may be different than others and a poor dancer, but only through practice will I get better.  People tend to like me in other situations so they will probably (but not guaranteed) to like me there too. I have little to lose and much to gain.  I can leave early if it isn’t for me. Generally speaking, most people are pretty cool, no one is perfect, we all have our issues, but hey, I’m a good person and anyone that can’t see that is blind.  (beliefs about self and others couched in worthiness)

 

I could go on and on but here is the point.  Our beliefs, and thus our interpretation of an event through the filter of our beliefs, determines our emotions and our behavior and overtime, those beliefs become hardwired.  Habitual. Covert. Unconscious. We think we know what we believe but forget that our beliefs are a choice.  

NPR used to have a segment called “this I believe.” There might be something in there worth listening too, especially if you don’t know what to believe. 

Our beliefs, many of which I believe are unconscious, shape our reactions, emotions, decisions, actions, habits (and reinforcing one’s habits at that) and a life.

homelss on a bench

Your gut reaction is a clue to your beliefs?

  1. When you see people shopping with food stamps, what is your reaction. 
  2. Half a dozen Harley’s go by with guys and girls with leather vests.
  3. An older man or woman, disheveled, sleeping on a park bench.
  4. People eating alone in a restaurant.
  5. Teenages hanging out in the Wal-Mart parking lot on a summer night.
  6. You tell someone you love them, and they are speechless but don’t return the same sentiment.
  7. Your child/teenager screams at you “I hate you.  You are the worst parent ever!”
  8. You get an assignment back from your teacher or professor with a C-.  You were expecting an “A”. 
  9. You “lend” something to a friend and they don’t bring it back.  You remind them, and they don’t bring it back.  
  10. Your boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with and totally caught you off guard.

Those kinds of ups and downs are part of everyone’s life.  Here are some things I’ve heard along the way, and seem to make sense to me. 

  1.  People are generally doing the best they can with what they’ve got.  Walk a mile in their shoes first. Besides, who is so high and mighty that they have a right to judge the value of others?
  2. We are all born for a reason, and it isn’t self sacrifice.  It is to figure out how to find and share love, laughter and fulfill our highest dreams of what we are capable of.
  3. Everything happens for a reason (and people enter and leave our lives for a reason as well).  Physics works, and it helps to look for the lesson or the silver lining of every hardship or challenge.
  4. No whiners.  We are responsible for where we are, and not victims.  We can change our thoughts, beliefs, and ultimately sometimes the circumstances.  You are driving the bus, unless you relinquish control of the wheel to someone else.  If they crash, you gave them/it the power to do so. 
  5. We (the world) have everything we need, and there is enough to go around.  No need to be greedy. No hoarding necessary. (Abundance mentality). Sharing is caring.
  6. If you believe in nothing, you will fall for anything.  While no belief system or religion is perfect, neither is human nature.  We are limited in our understanding of the non-visible, non-physical world but it helps to have a paradigm to make sense of it all. 
  7. Everything we need to know to make a better life is available to those looking for answers.  (It’s called google and youtube)

paradigm

Just the facts please.

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  I couldn’t agree more.  I don’t understand the refusal to deal with reality from the far or alt-right. What will it take?

trump mocks disabled

“Some easily verified FACTS about Donald Trump.

1.Trump has been accused by over 40 women of sexual misconduct. He bragged on record of walking into the dressing rooms of beauty pageants and seeing naked girls. Laughed about it on Howard Stern’s show. Would you be okay with him walking in on your daughters when they were teenagers?

2. Trump is a white nationalist. Stephen Miller, a top White House aide, is a widely known white nationalist. He is so extreme that his uncle, a Jewish professor, wrote a scathing expose of him and his racist beliefs and writings. Trump defended the neo Nazis who participated in the Virginia rally as “very fine people.”

3. Trump was sanctioned for not renting to blacks, even if they had money and references. Trump and his father settled a DOJ lawsuit to avoid trial.

4. Trump lost more money in 10 years than anyone in America’s history. Over a billion dollars. He is not a good businessman.

5. Declared bankruptcy on casinos. Yes, casinos! Multiple times.

6. Lies constantly. Running Talley is now over 13,000.

7. Betrayed the Kurds. Left 50 nuclear warheads in a base in Turkey that was hastily abandoned in October of 2019 during the disorderly evacuation of troops. Trump made the decision by himself, ignoring all the advice of generals. ISIS members who were jailed have been freed, way over 1000. These people will restart the movement. Congress voted on October 16, 2019 to decry his actions, with many Republicans joining the House Democrats in protest.

8. Turned his back on our NATO allies, preferring authoritarian leaders to democratic leaders. Got played by Russia, North Korea, Turkey.

9. Was laughed at openly at the UN.

10. Violated emoluments clause against enriching himself while in office, ignoring The Constitution. Lawsuit against him is proceeding.

11. Massive nepotism and kids profiting off office. See above.

12. Gave nuclear secrets to Saudi Arabia. Wants them to build our smart bombs. Let Saudi Arabia get away with the murder of Jamal Khoshoggi, who was chopped up while while he was still alive. It was recorded by his iPhone, and Turkey intelligence has the whole murder on tape. Saudi Arabia financed 9/11, and 15 of the terrorists were Saudi nationals.

13. The Trump Organization hired many undocumented workers at his resorts while jailing other undocumented workers. Those workers, some of whom directly interacted with Trump as cooks and personal housekeepers, said he was aware they were undocumented workers.

14. Trump has over 3500 pending lawsuits, which are on hold while he is president, due to non payment of contractors on his properties. Yes, he stiffed painters, electricians, plumbers, gardeners, suppliers, etc.

15. Put our foreign agents at risk by sharing classified information. Our highest agent in Russia had to be extracted due to his indiscretion.

16. Trump used a loan to himself of $50 million to illegally avoid taxes. Under investigation now by the state of New York. He also illegally avoided taxes on his inheritance of over 450 million dollars. This was a huge investigation and the state of New York has said they will press charges after he leaves office.

17. Stole money that was raised for children with cancer and used it through his charity to pay for legal expenses and portraits of himself. His foundation was shut down by the state of New York, and he and his oldest 3 children are barred forever in New York from having anything to do with a charity. He STOLE money from children with cancer!

18. His attorney, Michael Cohen, paid on his behalf $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep his adultery quiet. Then he paid Michael Cohen back almost 400,000, out of Trump Organization Funds and wrote it off on his taxes as a business expense. Many checks he signed himself after becoming president.

19. Has cheated on all his wives. All three of them. Family values, I guess. The evangelicals flipped out over Bill Clinton’s sexual infidelity, but gives Trump a pass. It’s mind boggling!

20. Throws everyone who leaves his employ under the bus. Blame, blame, blame. Never takes responsibility. Calls them names when they are gone. All this after bragging about only hiring the best. Today he is going after General Mattis, because he criticized his actions in Syria and the abandonment of our Kurdish allies.

21. Withheld money that Congress appropriated to help Ukraine arm and defend itself until they gave him dirt on Hunter Biden. Rudy Giuliani and friends are in a coverup to their eyeballs. 4 of Rudy Giuliani’s foreign employers have been arrested trying to flee the country. Rudy Giuliani is not registered as a foreign agent! Just like Mike Flynn.

22. Mocked gold star family. Has cut many programs for veterans. Claimed he had bone spurs 5 times to avoid the draft.
Trump is deporting veterans who were promised citizenship in return for military service, breaking a solemn agreement to those who served our country in good faith.

23. Instructed people to ignore Congressional subpoenas. This is illegal under The Constitution. No one bars people who can exonerate them, do they?

24. Had close ties to Jeff Epstein, the sex trafficking multi millionaire. Trump was accused by Kate Johnson of rape at an Epstein party when she was 14. Brought a lawsuit, but was dropped due to death threats to her family. You can read the deposition online, and see the original court stamps on the documents.

His labor secretary, Acosta, was the DA who illegally gave Epstein the sweetheart deal in the lawsuit brought by many women. The settlement let Epstein leave the jail during the day, and during his sentence, was having sex on an almost daily basis with young teenagers. Yes, girls, recruited by his circle of enablers. The deal Acosta made with Epstein was illegal under the federal code. Acosta resigned, but why is he not in jail for aiding a pedophile?

25. Attorney General William Barr’s father gave Jeff Epstein a teaching job at the prestigious Dalton School where was headmaster. Jeff Epstein did not have the required college degree. Epstein kept volumes of records, that the DOJ confiscated from his properties. My bet is that they will never see the light of day. Turns out Epstein was never a money manager, but ran a sex trafficking ring. Epstein snared many in his trap, including Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Trump, and more. The records Jeff Epstein kept should see daylight, but my bet is they have already been destroyed. Who knows, Bill Barr is in charge, as he was over the jail where Jeff Epstein supposedly committed suicide. Attorney General Bill Barr, whose father gave Epstein his first job, is sitting on the records. Why?

26. Bill Barr lied to the American People. Have YOU read The Mueller Report. Very damning. Over 1000 former federal prosecutors have said they would take an obstruction of justice case to trial based on just that document alone.

There is much more. I can give you research on all this. Or you can start paying attention. Our Republic is at stake.”

27.  Oh, nepotism?

Songs about Friends

“Thank You For Being A Friend”

Thank you for being a friend

Traveled down the road and back again

your heart is true you’re a pal and a confidant

I’m not ashamed to say

I hope it always will stay this way

My hat is off, won’t you stand up and take a bow

And if you threw a party

Invited everyone you knew

You would see, the biggest gift would be from me

and the card attached would say,

Thank you for being a friend

 

Thank you for being a friend

Thank you for being a friend

Thank you for being a friend

Thank you for being a friend

If it’s a car you lack

I’d surely buy you a cadillac

Whatever you need, anytime of the day or night

 

I’m not ashamed to say

I hope it always will stay this way

My hat is off, won’t you stand up and take a bow

 

And when we both get older

With walking canes and hair of gray

Have no fear, even though it’s hard to hear

I will stand real close and say,

Thank you for being a friend

 

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Let me tell you bout a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

 

And when we die and float away

Into the night, the Milky Way

You’ll hear me call, as we ascend

I’ll see you there, then once again

Thank you for being a …

Ba ba ba bs ba ba…

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

People let me tell you about a friend

(I want to thank you)

Thank you for being a friend

(I wanna tell you right now, and tell you again)

Thank you for being a friend

(I wanna thank you, thank you,thank you for being a friend)

Thank you for being a friend

I’M AMAZING BY KEB MO

Brother

I need to talk to you

This might sound strange

And you’ll probably think I’m crazy and I’ve lost my mind

Well, okay

I’m amazing; I’m incredible

I’m a miracle, a dream come true

I’m marvelous; I’m beautiful

Guess what?

So are you

 

People

It’s becoming clear

I can feel it down in my soul

I know that I am you and you are me

Uh-oh

And I’m grateful for the simple things

That we take for granted every day

Listen

I can walk I can talk, I can use my mind

Okay

I’m amazing; I’m incredible

I’m a miracle, a dream come true

I’m marvelous; I’m beautiful

Guess what?

So are you

 

That don’t mean we’re better than anyone or anything

It’s a call to come together and accept responsibility

And be amazing, incredible

You’re a miracle, a dream come true

And I’m marvelous; I’m beautiful

Guess what?

So are you

 

You’ve got a friend in me by Randy Newman

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

When the road looks rough ahead

And you’re miles and miles from your nice warm bed

Just remember what your old pal said

You’ve got a friend in me

Yeah, You’ve got a friend in me

  1. You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

You got troubles pal I got ’em too

There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you

We stick together, we see it through

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

  1. Some other folks might be a little bit smarter than I am

Bigger and stronger too

But none of them

Will ever love you the way I do

It’s me and you

And as the years go by

Our friendship will never die

You’re gonna see it’s our destiny

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

You’ve got a friend in me

Songwriters: Randy Newman

 

Boat List

Download this suggested boat list

semi-annual-safety-checklist

Or copy and paste below and edit to suit your needs.

Richard Joslin Experience and education!

  • Here’s what I do : I made a laminated list, one copy in truck and one in boat so I never forget things like: (charger cord in boat. drains checked. wheels greased. ratchets tight. lights work. etc)- then:
  • Go get your serial number, engine serial, hull and registration # and insurance card/phone and EMERGENCY CONTACTS that are local.
  • If you have friends with boats, ask them if you can use them in an emergency if you need a truck/help.. offer to do the same for them and get their # on card) etc all together on BACK of that sheet before laminating: oil concentration (mine’s 50:1). tank capacity. filter/spark plug #;s..etc. )
  • Then go buy the engine manual and use YOUTUBE to start learning about annual service, inspecting and lubricating steering and throttle cable.. impeller change. oil change. buy the special tools as you need then (ie lower end oil change hand pump).
  • Build a tool bag JUST for the boat (I keep mine in toolbox of truck when boat is stored:
    • Mine has everything from wire cutters to the ratchets id need to tighten the engine and transom bolt.
    • Buy a LARGE box of fuses on Amazon- cheaper. I carry the following: Tools.
    • Spare 2 cycle oil so I don’t have to pay outrageous dock prices if I stay overnight and need gas the next day)
    • 12V Jump Start box $50,
    • spare 5 gallon can( with 2 more in truck), fuses,
  • Flashlights (do rechargeable work lights at $20/each),
  • starter fluid,
  • Hardware for Bimini (easy to drop overboard or behind seats),
  • Spare emergency water under seats,
  • Plenty of new rope $8,
  • 4 spare ratchets $10,
  • 12V Test light,
  • Wire splices/crimper,
  • Set of bungees $5,
  • Depth Finder $115,
  • home first aid kit (nail clippers scissors,
  • matches/lighters,
  • Medical:
    • Sunscreen,
    • bug spray,
    • burn spray with lidocaine,
    • tylenol- benadryl-
    • triple anitbiotic-cortisone-
    • travel toothpaste and spare brush-
    • band aids- vet wrap- etc,
  • Huge rambo knife for cutting lines in emergency $5,
  • cell phone charger pack $20, Spare USB cords for Iphone-USB-C and micro-Usb,
  • required coast guard stuff
    • (air horn- life jackets-throwable buoy),
  • spare set of spark plugs and wrench to remove them,
  • Waterproof bag for Depth finder when stored,, keys, wallet, boat insurance/registration, etc).
  • Get a routine for greasing trailer and getting ready to tow.
  • PRACTICE launching boat- DONT PREP ON RAMP. get on the dock-get GOOD at backing and launching- then CLEAR the ramp.
  • You can prep dock at sea or dock while she parks truck and the next guy can get in….
  • Learn your consumption rate for what you normally do- skiing/ full out gives me ~4 hours. Putzin around and I can go 2 days.
  • Don’t trust gauge..that’s why the premixed 50:1 5 gallon gas can… Most toons can’t carry enough anchor line/chain to anchor properly (lakes here are 400′ deep, meaning you’re NOT gonna be able to anchor to wait for help if you run outta gas (lesson learned, bought the depth finder the next day).
  • PRACTICE handling your toon near dock and training your partner to moor and trailer so you can be quick and stress free. I watched enough videos and had a friend come teach me about how to adjust the carbs/idle speed cause mine was running rough at low idle and would stall and not restart (1 of two carb needle valves was nearly shut).. It’s nerve racking but you will be fine if you learn BEFORE you need it and it will be much less stress and bickering at the dock:)
  • Hope this helps!

aluminum-trailer