Happy birthday to me…yahoo…

Well, today marks the day that this bag of gelatinous water, supported by sticks of hardened calcium, adorned with a chemical battery capable of rudimentary thought has circled the sun 68 times.  For some unknown reason we celebrate this day by eating sugar covered, wheat based dessert with all kinds of chemicals designed to give it a multitude of colors, which for all intent and purpose causes a wide range of adverse reactions in the body.  I have to assume this celebration is designed to hasten the demise of the celebratee (I made this word up).  Knowing that you are now one rotation closer to your demise, all your so-called friends wish you a happy birthday in order to help you to forget the fact that you are celebrating, for some unknown reason, your approaching demise.

All joking aside, thank you few that remembered this sad occasion and know that due to my diminishing mental abilities, I will probably not remember to do the same for you, but I will try.

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Enough is enough!

If I have to watch one more “buy your wife or husband a new car for Christmas” TV commercial, I am going to be sick!  To make this even more ludicrous, these are not low-cost cars, they are Mercedes, BMW and Acura just to name a few. I just watched an ad for Jaguar, not a cheap car!  I believe I know a lot of people and I do not remember any of them ever buying a car as a Christmas gift, maybe buying it around the Christmas season to take advantage of one of the many end of the year sales, but not on a Christmas whim.  Just in case you are unaware, cars are very expensive!  Most of these ads are for cars in the $60,000 to $80,000 class, which in my book is a lot of money.

Since I am on the subject of TV ads, let me mention a few more pet peeves.  I’ll bet 90% of the ads on TV are by drug companies, insurance companies and car companies.  This is simple math, it takes lots of money to advertise on TV which means these companies have to make lots of money!  Of these adds, probably half of them are by pharmaceutical companies which I place in my “evil guys” classification group.  This is a limited group made up of companies like Monsanto, BP and Phillip Morris to name a few that are on my despicable companies list.

OK, let me get back to my point.  Christmas is a time of giving, sharing and helping your fellow-man, not time to buy an $80,000 car so that the neighbors think you are rich.  If you can afford an expensive car then maybe you should be sharing some of your wealth with the less fortunate.  Only in this country could a company be so out of touch with the reality of the majority of Americans that it thinks Christmas is a time for buying a luxury car.  Maybe I am missing some point, possibly there are lots of rich people out there who can afford to buy an expensive car as a Christmas gift.  Since the monthly payments on these cars are in the $600-$1000 range, not including taxes and insurance, I know that my meager budget could in no way support a payment of that size.  Maybe it is my geographic location that does not allow me to observe the rich and the famous buying luxury cars at Christmas.  In order to observe this behavior I guess I will have to move to one of those exclusive gated communities in the suburbs of Washington DC and watch the upper class drive in and out of the gate with their Jaguars and such, trying to impress everyone.

I think I can safely say that Santa is not impressed with fancy cars and neither am I.  I know I am rambling a little bit in this article but somehow I must help people understand that the decadence that permeates our society is detrimental to the future of our country.  Life is not about things, even though things sometimes make it seem that way.  Driving around in a new expensive car is sort of fun but quickly becomes just another vehicle over time.   The depth of greed is so pervasive that the damage to several generations may be irreversible.   The inevitable conclusion of this mentality is a total collapse of the ecosystem of this planet and the end of our financial system as we know it.  Yes, our greed will lead to the end of life as we know it.

So, HO, HO, HO, have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and go easy on the presents.

 

Let’s all quit listening

I just had an amazing thought! Just like one of those old star trek monsters, Trump Feeds on attention. Maybe if we all ignore him he will implode to never be seen or heard again. No more reading his stupid tweets, listening to his ridiculous comments or looking at his orange face. Think how liberating this will be! If the leaders of the world join us I am sure he will fall apart in short order…and then we will have to deal with that women hating Pence. If we put him in a room filled with beautiful women without his wife, the devil will surely take his soul. Then there is Ryan, so let’s wait till the midterm to do this.

 

 

The shortest day of the year

The shortest day of the year has become a big day for me over the last couple of decades.  As I get older, the long cold winters become less desirable, which makes the 21st day of December, the day which marks the beginning of the march towards spring, a special day for me. Yes, slowly we will make our way through the cold, miserable months of January and February and sometime in March, spring will peek through the clouds, flowers will begin to bloom and the air will once again be full of the fragrances of life.  Trees will begin to bud, streams will once again flow with a crisp, clean supply of water and love will be in the air. I am getting excited just writing about it!

This march towards the shortest day of the year has been a particularly difficult one for me.  I am forced to watch our nation, under the leadership of a cruel, insensitive, narcissistic man, move in a direction that not only scares me but hurts me deeply as more and more people are going to suffer.  Millions of Americans will lose their healthcare, 10’s of millions of children will not have healthcare.  The wealthy will continue to become wealthier and the earth, our only home, will continue to be the world’s trash bin as we dump more and more trash and chemicals onto her surface and into her air and oceans.

You may have noticed that I have not been writing as much as I used to.  Every time I sit down to write, the weight of what is happening to our way of life weighs me down like an anchor, causing me to stand up and walk away from my terminal.  Since the election of this man I feel as if a large part of my daily routine is spent listening to the horrible things he does or says.  But today is the beginning of our journey towards spring and maybe this day is the beginning of our journey towards the nation we have always strived to be, I can only hope.  We have always been the flagship of the world and even though we have often not lived up to that status, we have always attempted to be that special place on earth where all men and women are created equal. This is the place where, according to the constitution, it does not matter what color your skin is or how much money you have or even who you choose to love, this is the United States of America, a shinning beacon to the world of free speech and human rights!  This is the place we need to go, not to the racist, classed system we are heading to now.  WE ARE AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME OF THE BRAVE, we must never forget that!

Santa Claus

I did not write this but it is great! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

For the parents of kids who ask the ? is Santa real…
Stole this from another page and I just think it’s the most beautiful way of explaining it!!
Son: “Dad, I think I’m old enough to know now. Is there a Santa Claus?” Not being the world’s fastest thinker, I stalled for time.
Dad: “OK, I agree that you’re old enough. But before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the truth is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you will never again understand and relate to him as you do now. So my question is: Are you sure you want to know?”
Brief pause. Son: “Yes. I want to know.”
Dad: “OK, I’ll tell you: Yes, there IS a Santa Claus.”
Son: “Really?” Dad: “Yes, really, but he’s not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That’s just what we tell kids. You see, kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand. The truth about Santa Claus is that he’s not a person at all; he’s an idea. Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years. I actually bought those myself. I watched you open them. And did it bother me that you didn’t thank me? Of course not! In fact it gave me great pleasure. You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.
When I saw that woman collapse on the subway last week and called for help, I knew that she’d never know that it was me who summoned the ambulance. I was being Santa Claus when I did that.”
Son: “Oh.”
Dad: “So now that you know, you’re part of it. You have to be Santa Claus too now. That means you can never tell a young kid the secret, and you have to help us select Santa presents for them, and most important, you have to look for opportunities to help people. Got it?”

A Christmas story

A Christmas story told again and again and….

 

This is one of my favorite stories and it helps me remember what Christmas is really about. If you read it last year or the year before, read it again and if you are new to my blog, I hope you enjoy this touching story. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You can find Naotaka Maehara on Facebook. Maybe someday parents will sit around the fire and read this to there children…or maybe not…

Naotaka Maehara arriving in Augusta

The other day my friend Steve Bailes called me up to ask if I would be interested in housing a young man from Japan for the evening. He is riding his bike across America, having left from Vancouver 70 days ago. He was coming from Clarksburg and would arrive on Saturday if things worked out. I agreed, and contacted Nao (pronounced NOW which is short for Naotaka Maehara) by email to invited him to stay with us for the evening. He replied that he would like to stay with us Saturday evening. The next two days were interesting as I stayed in contact as much as possible via e-mail. If you remember, this past Wednesday and Thursday we experienced our first major snow fall of the season so Nao was right in the middle of it with the continental divide directly in front of him. To make a long, involved story shorter, he made it across the mountains to our home by 4pm on Saturday. I quickly suggested he take a bath to get warm. He agreed and headed for the bathroom. About an hour later he emerged, hungry, relaxed and anxious to get to know us. Steve had asked if he could come over and meet Nao so I suggested that we do dinner ; at about 6pm Steve and Terry arrived. It was one of those magical evenings that happen so rarely. We talked, exchanged stories and ate until we were ready to pop. Nao turned out to be charming, pleasant and a very gracious guest. I will remember the evening for a long time. With my fading memory that could be months from now. After dinner, us guys went down stairs to give Nao’s bike some tender loving care, which it needed badly. We reattached the front racks, cleaned and oiled the chain, pumped up the tires, and gave it a quick inspection. Later Nao and I went upstairs to spend almost two hours planning his route to New York City. He was ready for his journey to continue in the morning. After I went to bed, Sue stayed up until midnight talking with Nao about who knows what.

Resting after dinner

Relaxing after dinner

The morning came; Nao had several bowls of cereal and began to ready himself and his bike for his journey to New York City where he was scheduled to arrive on December 23. We created a Skype connection so that he could contact us with his computer, if needed. Shortly thereafter, Nao headed down the driveway.

After Nao had left, we found a note in his bedroom. In the note was a twenty-dollar bill. At first I considered getting in the car and catching him to give back the money but after reading the note I decided not to. This is written in Nao’s own words. He has only been learning English for three years. I’m impressed!

“I met woman in that time. (this is before he met us) She listened my serious talking and gave this $20 to me. She gave money and I received money. And also I received her kindness. She said, “I can’t help you now, but use this money and stay in hotel.

I want you guys (me) receive this $20. I mean it is not a staying fee, it means a woman’s kindness.”

I will keep this twenty and pass it forward when the time comes. Experiences like this one only intensify my belief that life is about the people you meet and the memories you take from those meeting. My only hope is that someday I will get to see Nao again!

Dear McDonalds, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A

 

…and all you companies that serve us those delicious, though often not good for our waist line and heart, meals, when we are too lazy to make our own.  Just in case you have not noticed we are close to a catastrophe with our throw-away society mentality.  Occasionally when I stop to enjoy one of your meals, I am forced to deposit a LARGE AMOUNT of non-recycled trash in the waste basket.  This has always bothered me but in the last several years it seems as if the amount of trash I throw away has increased!  At the risk of exposing my age, I remember when I bought a “47 cents for a three course meal” at McDonald’s and there was very little non-recyclable trash, realizing that no one even thought of recycling at that time in our history.  A piece of wax paper wrapped my burger, a paper cup held my fries, my milkshake was in a paper cup and even my straw was made of paper.  It was all recyclable stuff!  I have noticed a large decrease in the use of plastics and non-recyclable stuff, but based on what I see, I think most of the trash goes directly to the dump where it becomes the next generation’s problem.

So my suggestion to all you mega-corporations bent on destroying the health of America,  make everything wrapped in recyclable material and then have a bin to place the many different types of stuff in. It is to your advantage to have as few bins as possible for convenience. Have a place to dump the water/ice so that we don’t gradually place our water supply in a landfill as well.  Years ago you taught us to clean off our own tables, which I must say was quite a jolt, so I think you can teach us to recycle as well.  Think of the publicity you could generate with this program!  You could become the good guys in the goal of saving the earth.  Now, if you could continue to clean up your act nutritionally, you could become earth’s stewards and secure your place in the future to feed us more and more of your fast food.  This in turn will make you richer and richer, which is why you exist…right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmic Charley 2020 for president!

Now that I have finished all my projects here around the house I have had lots of time to think about current political issues.

Cosmic Charley is back and has made the decision to run for president of the United States in 2020. Here is my platform for all to see.

First on my platform is my total commitment to health care for all individuals: poor, rich, incapacitated and anything else you can think of.  If you are an American, you get health care, it’s that simple.  In order to have health care for all, our notion of free enterprise and its connection with the health of Americans is going to have to be changed.  No longer can a corporation make decisions on your health care based on profit. We must separate the free market, i.e. capitalism, from the medical services market if we wish to survive as a country!  Medical costs are going to bankrupt our country in its current form.  Health care, as Bernie Sanders says, “is a right”, not a privilege.

Second is the reduction of the military allowing more money to be spent on Americans, not bombs, planes and war ships! We can no longer afford to maintain such an enormous military.  Our job as the world’s police has ended.  When we reduce military spending to a more realistic level, we will then have money for programs that directly affect so many Americans such as medical care, education, infrastructure, economic development and the general well-being of our people.

Third is the protection and isolation of Social Security monies.  All money collected by SS will be isolated and kept away from the free spending politicians. Increasing the cut-off, perhaps doubling it, for contributing to Social Security will make it viable for many decades to come.

Fourth is that women will have the right to make decisions pertaining to their own health.  I will also push for legislation that would ensure equality for woman in the workplace, in business and in all aspects of life.

Education and the proper funding of it will be one of the most important items in my agenda if we want America to move into the 22nd century as a world leader.

America will regain its world leadership in the push for the reduction of carbon dioxide world-wide.

Tax on the ultra-wealthy will increase to help equalize the disparity of income in America.

I will spearhead a movement to reverse the Citizens United Act to help get money out of politics.  I will push for term limits for all elected officials. In addition, election campaigning shall last four months.  No political activities, such as ads, fundraisers, rallies or anything related to elections shall be allowed until the four-month window before the election.

I would like to call this new political party the “America’s Party”.  My Party will use all their energies to the betterment of the bulk of Americans, not the wealthy few percent who control a majority of America’s wealth!

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Note: I am not qualified for this office but that seems to be one of the qualifications currently needed to run for office, no previous experience needed.