When looking at the frontier people, the term “rugged” comes to mind.  It may apply to their circumstances, but also consider that they had to utilize the elements themselves.  There was no certified home builder, no electrician, no mass produced transportation vehicles.  Decision to go from point A to point B required planning and calculating resources in a manner much more involved than miles per gallon.  One’s shelter was not state approved and only there when the person put it there – same with the food on the table.  Therefore, the frontier individuals were utilizing their skills in a much fuller fashion than I observe now.  I would wonder if they also had a larger skill-set than the population right now, as they had to operate on more levels of proficiency.

In the United States, we like to call ourselves a first world country.  Items presented as proof are the infrastructure, economy, housing, and markets.  As to the latter item, I was in a bigbox store and found an interesting item yesterday.  It was a child’s tee shirt proclaiming “whatever happened, it wasn’t me.”   I know a pair of brothers it would fit perfectly and took a picture and sent it to a family member.  We enjoyed the chuckle and commented back a forth a little bit.  Anyways, if one steps back a little and examines this exchange and applies it to the culture, a different picture may emerge.  I work with a lady who is an ace at finding deals in stores and utilizing their discounts and coupons for unbelievably cheap jeans, tops, etc.  As an office, most occupants have the lunch conversation as “where are you going to go?”  Then they choose a particular restaurant.  How many people out there in this “first world” country decide to build a chair?  How many think it’s such a good idea and design that they will spend the next week or so making something useful rather than look for a “deal?”  How many of our population have any clue about the fundamentals of what produces the prepared meals sitting on the shelves in the store?  In the freezer aisle, I noted boxes of scrambled eggs with bacon, or hash brown, or something similar which are ready to place in the microwave.  Is it that laborious to scramble an egg?  Does the microwave time increase of 2 minutes provide that much better a product than could be produced with a little effort at the stove?  What I am suggesting is that this country is being remade into a simpler type of society.  For all the research and technological advances about which we can boast, there is the lack of personal creativity and initiative and maybe now – ability to make those things we desire in life.  The result is a people who hunt and gather.  The forest has given way to the supermarket and the rifle has been passed for the coupon.

 

 

I have heard that the final words a person speaks are important as they are what the person most wants to express before that ability is forever gone.  With h/t to knuckledragging, we have such an expression.

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I like the inset of P. J. O’Rourke.  It harkens to my concept that freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin.  The moment one lowers responsibility, freedom is also lowered.  That is why government providing anything besides security for the country and honesty in contracts is a bad thing.  The giving of government in the realm of, say, healthcare, is provided as a gift by advertisements.  It is truly a loss of responsibility of the individual to take care of their own health issues, and a loss of freedom for the people as we are now beholden to the government.  Multiply this by however many other “gifts” from the government are out there.  Each one is a corded strand staked over Gulliver.  The useful idiots defined only make the government’s job of enclosing the animal cages at the zoo easier.  Remember that there are three cases where everything is provided: 1.) zoo, 2.) pet, 3.) prison.  In all other cases, each species has to fend for themselves = personal responsibility = freedom.  Yes, there is risk involved.  That is called life.  Life is fatal.  What are you going to do while you’re here?

It’s an outcome that looked unlikely in the aftermath of the unexpected death of Justice Scalia. But in the end, to paraphrase the title of an old song, the nuns fought the law and the nuns won. And that is worth celebrating.

I saw a picture of a newspaper post decrying PayPal for supporting jobs in Malaysia and boycotting North Carolina.  With a bit of searching, I found that the company did stop its plan of adding 400 jobs in North Carolina.  I also noted that the company had a 100% approval rating from the sexually deviant community Human Rights Campaign Foundation.  There was one interesting comment down the thread stating that one should follow the money and note that PayPal wanted out of the deal and this provided a decent cover to not go to North Carolina as well as look good for their supporters.  I don’t know the numbers, or care where the company is ranking right now.  I place them in the same category as Target and with three clicks, PayPal is no longer receiving any money from me.

This season’s first production has been harvested.  Granted, I have spent little time in the garden.  Therefore, I am amazed that this turned out like it did.  There are two rows coming – one red, like this one, and another row of white onions.  I understand that they will last several months cool and dry, so hopefully, we will have an onion supply for most of the rest of the year.  onion

Some time back, spouseinbox and I went to a relative’s funeral.  The pastor giving the sermon recalled events as the two of them met as kids and maintained a relationship through the years.  As the service continued, I looked at the casket and the thought “empty box” came to mind.  Spouseinbox and I discussed it during a later trip and I came up with the following lyrics.  There is no music yet.  That will come.

The attic room was hot and dusty, single bulb shown dim

Trinket I had sought was hard to find.

Over in a corner was a big old cardboard box

It was long and thin about waist high, tied with twine.

I looked the cardboard over, then observed a faded picture

of the bike received for Christmas many years ago.

I sat right there and thought of all the times that I had ridden,

morning, noon, and evening, over miles and miles of road.

There was the time we went fishing, caught in blackberry bush

got all scratched, tried not to tell my mom.

Then there was that nasty hill, loose gravel did its deed.

I had some stitches and a memory

We rode one thousand miles of blacktop in a single summer,

enjoying wind and sunshine through the trees.

Trips down hills in middle Fall, colored leaves would fill the air.

Ride until roads hazardous with winter’s chilly breeze

A few times I walked home the bike, to change the inner-tubes.

Sometimes fixed with kit of rubber and the sticky glue

Oiling chain, adjusting tension, yes, it popped off more than once,

Sending both feet flying off the pedals.

Then there were two drivers who ignored my right of way

I almost crashed against their right front fenders.

Now I sit here with the box, full of memories.

One time it held my precious bike, almost called a friend.

Now it’s empty leaving hint of cargo it once held.

And I’m so glad I had the chance to make those memories.

I am so glad I had the chance to make those memories.

Memories, memories, those precious thoughts of past

Reminding of experience before.

It may be just a box that one time held my precious bike

but memories render something more

In memory of Andy.

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