Friday, February 17, 2017

Consumerism LBC 02/17/2017

Today's topic - consumerism - was offered by Ramana. According to Wikipedia, consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. Sounds like a definition offered by the Marketing gods.

We are assaulted daily by people/companies trying to separate us from our money. Better ingredients, better pizza; he went to Jareds; the beer that made Milwaukee famous; the champagne of bottled beers. All of these marketing phrases are designed to help convince us to purchase a particular product. Spend, spend, spend.

One thing often lost in the crazy world of consumerism is the cost in terms of resource use/misuse, labor abuses and the like. Everyone likes to get the best deal, the best price. So what if a 12-year old child earns a whopping 50 cents an hour making the product. Who really cares about Nike worker abuse as long as they get those Air Jordans on the shelf.  And no, Nike is not being any worse than many others in the clothing industry.

The importance of the element lithium to the battery industry and its limited supply/availability raises important issues for the electric car industry. Can the limited availabilitybe dealt with peacefully? Wars have been fought ovdr limited availability before. Japam went to war in  WWII because of limited oil resources.
Who knows what the future may hold.

The consumerism pendulum swings the other way as it drives the economies of the various nations in the world.  Economic growth is on the mind of every leader of every country. One can only hope we effectively manage the appropriate resources to ensure an adequate supply.

I confess that I am subject to the same attacks of rampant consumerism  as are most of us. Fortunately for me I am not in a position financially to take advantage  of them often so the earth's resources are safe from me!

That is my quick shack-take on this weeks topic. So what do my blogging cohorts have to say on the matter? Check them out 

Ramana  Pravin  Maria

Friday, February 10, 2017

Impatience LBC Post 2/10/2017

Today's topic comes to us from Pravin. The first example of impatience that springs to mind is the impatience of a child waiting for Christmas. Each day - as the big day draws nearer - kids are consumed with eagerness and anticipation. It can be a joy to watch as the child's parents become impatient awaiting the child's reaction to Christmas day. Who hasn't experienced impatience while stuck in heavy traffic, while waiting in a long line or waiting for the big game or concert to begin?

Yes - time management - or lack thereof - can cause impatience. Impatience can cause us to make rash decisions with serious consequences. But being overly patient can be a huge waste of time so it seems we need to learn to manage impatience. Busines training - especially management training - usually includes specific sections on time management to assist in this endeavor. I think there should also be training guides for relationships - and  being patient while the relationship develops.

I confess to always being impatient when it came to relationships - being shy, I pretty much always expected them go fail but I also wanted them to progress rapidly. Hmmm - hurry up and end the pain? LOL

Back in my college days, I switched majors from Physical Education to Political Science I had a falling out with the head football coach that was severe enough that he guaranteed I'd never get a coaching job and he had the juice to make that threat stick. I had taken a few political science  classes - and though my history major pal Tony swore Political Science was an oxymoron -they let me transfer a lot of PE classes to the Political Science undergrad requirements. There was one particular professor - a Dr.Hudson -who was not enamored of jocks in his classes, had run afoul of the same coach as had I because he refused to cut football players any slack. As the quarter drew to an end,  Dr Hudson and I had jousted verbally the entire 10 weeks, and as he passed out the final exam he boldly and loudly stated he guaranteed I would not do well on said final. I freely admit I was something of a smart ass and I laughed in his face. After the exam, I knew I had aced it. I busted my butt preparing and it paid off. It was impossible to measure the impatience I felt waiting for those finals to be graded and the quarter grades to be posted. Two days later I appeared at Dr Hudson's office door to be met with his snarling face and he threw my blue book at me. I had aced the test and the class. I earned an A on both. I simply stuck out my hand to shake his, wished him well and walked off. I am sure celebratory beers were quaffed that afternoon.

That is my quick shack-take on this week' LBC topic.Please be sure to see what my cohorts had to say on their blogs.  Ramana  Pravin  Maria

Monday, February 6, 2017

A nice break from all of the insanity!

Well - Super Bowl has come and gone. I had no dog in the hunt and that is a very good thing as I would have been a basket case regardless of which end of the score my team was on. But since I was unencumbered I was able to simply watch and enjoy the game. What a game it was.

Super Bowls are rarely super - they are usually a snooze fest. Not 51 -  it was a real barn burner. It looked like the Atlanta Falcons were going to run away with  the game. I realize my non-America readers  may not understand the dynamics of the game of American football. Some even think rugby is a tougher game but let me assure you it is not.

With the exception of boxing and maybe MMA fighting no sport comes close to the concentrated violence of 300 pound athletes running into each other with reckless abandon. Take a look at the concussion issues that are now so regularly in the news.

Yesterdays game was an example of the best the game has to offer as Atlanta Falcons started fast and tried tom but their collective feet pn the throat of the Patriots. Tom Brady was harassed regularly and the Falcons were up 28-3. Then the wheels came off and the high-flying birds became wounded ducks. A run of 31-0 in just over a quarter cemented the legacy of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as the best ever at their jobs. Patriots fans danced with glee while Falcons fans stared in stunned disbelief.

So now today it is back to the real world for all but fans of the Patriots. They have a big parade to look forward to and bragging rights until next season. The rest of us are back to worrying about the next  bizarre tweet that may emerge from the White House. It is worth noting Trump is buddies with both Patriots owner Robert Kraft and QB Tom Brady so maybe in his deliriumTrump may be silent. OK - not bloody likely.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Supernatural LBC 02/03/2017

This week's topic was my suggestion. I thought it would be fun to explore what folks think.

Merriam Webster (online) says "supernatural:   of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially :  of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit or devil."

I do not think it s possible to believe in God and not believe in the supernatural - or at lease portions of it. Exorcisms are performed to purge demons, angels are supposed to be real and so is satan. So for a believer to poo poo the existence of the supernatural is both illogical - though logic has little place in the belief in god IMHO - and somewhat hypocritical.  Most religions contain some "supernatural" elements. Miracles performed by Jesus were supernatural in nature. Supernatural acts have been repoerted throughout recorded history. What you believe or do not believe is up to you and your faith or perhaps your lack of faith.

Psychics? I know of no real scientific evidence of their actual existence. As the popular illusionist Criss Angel has said - where were the 9/11 predictions (before the actual event).  Smoke and mirrors, trickery and illusions. Entertainment of the highest order but not real.

Do you believe in ghosts? Hollywood certainly does. There are several ghost hunter TV shows and the horror film industry has always been robust. Everyone likes a good ghost movie but are they real? Well my late wife thought Patrick Swayze was.

There are also paranormal movie franchises purported to be fact based.  Again - fact based is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. After all, we have entered the time of alternative facts. But there is no shortage of excellent paranormal movies - think The Shining, Poltergeist, The Amityville horror, All purported to be fact based.
It should be clear I look upon this topic as a fun topic. Some make take offense at taking religion lightly. Sorry about that but everything deserves a chuckle and a box of popcorn once in  while.

Take a look at what my cohorts have to say.    Ramana   Pravin  Maria

Thursday, January 26, 2017


This weeks topic was suggested by Ramana.

wikipedia says "Loyalty is devotion and faithfulness to a cause, country, group, or person." Thnat is a reasonable definition as far as I m concerned. Loyalty can be a virtue or  not. Consider the loyalty Hitler's followers exhibited.

In my experience there is no loyalty as pure as the loyalty a dog feels for his/her human. That was made abundantly clear to me recently when I had a 4-day stay in the local hospital. It started when I was snatched from home on a gurney by four burly emts on a Saturday night. Ginger - my dog - was initially quite upset and barking at them until she realized these people werlatere helping me. Then she was practically inconsolable while I was in the hospital. She spent the days lying by the door waiting for me to return. 

Four days later when I returned she was wild with excitement. She seemed to understand that I was very weak and she waited until I made my way to the bed to jump up and snuggle in as tightly as she could get. She laid her head on me and gave her best doggie sigh. Now that I am almost back to normal sheis more playful. She is also quite clever - my normal attire is a pair of shorts. Ginger has figured out that if Iput on long pants I am going somewhere and she immediately heads for the front door, where she remains until it is time to leave. As soon as the door opens she dashes out, runs down the stairs and waits by the driver side door to take her place in the back seat. truth be told, I enjoy the company.

Personally, I am very loyal to my family and friends. I am fortunate to have some friends that I have known for over 50 years. They have always been there for me and I for them.  We live on opposite sides of the country but that does not matter. When Lynn died 3 years ago 4 days later 3 of them showed up in Ft Worth to check on me. That is loyalty.

That is my quicjk take on this weeks topic. Be sure to see what my choorts have to say ontheir blogs - RamanaPravinMaria.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What would you do in the lomg term LBC 01.20/2017

This week Pravin asks us "What would you do in the long term?"  

That's an interesting question for someone in the "circling the drain" age  bracket. For clarification I'd say anyone above say 65 is in that category.  Hopefully your tub was very  full and your circling becomes an interesting, long journey. 

So what would I do? Well- it depends upon the circumstances. I certainly will not be taking out any 30 year mortgages or purchasing a new car,  although if I should win 10-15,000 dollars in the lottery there could well be a motorcycle in my future. An 1100 CC Suzuki. And then a long road trip.

Yeah - I know. That is simply wishful thinking. In reality to avoid the drain I need to take better care of myself.  DO stuff like watch my diet, take my meds - line big pharma's pockets with the outrageous prices they charge. Without those meds my drain looms  large, deep and very close.  I tell ya - at times this getting old stuff really sucks but the journey to this point  has been interesting and somewhat enjoyable.  

I certainly will be watching how the country fares under the new president. He has chosen a few good cabinet members and some real turkeys.  It is the last stand of the baby boomers - we are aging rapidly. It is time for the next generation to assert itself in the political arena and that will also be fun to watch.

Upon reflection it appears in the long term I will be doing a lot of observing.  That seems reasonable for a retiree - I will also be increasing my blogging output while also keeping up with the weekly LBC posts.

Be sure to see what my cohorts have to say   




Thursday, January 12, 2017

Politics LBC

This weeks topic comes just as we here in the USA are preparing to inaugurate our next president while we begin the vetting/approval process for his cabinet selections. It marks the end of a contentious election on the heels of an equally contentious BREXIT  election in the UK.

Politics are pervasive. They intrude upon every aspect of our lives and these days  of  severe polarization leave very little room for respect for the other side's point of view. That in turn leaves both sides demonizing the other. This went on for so long here in the USA that we elected a  businessman that patted himself on the back for his multiple bankruptcy filings and bragged  about how he was so smart he paid few - if any - income taxes.  He vowed to make America great again.  We will see how that shakes out over the next four years, even as people like Cory Booker  and Marco Rubio begin  posturing for future runs at the presidency from their parties.  

It seems that politicians here seem to care more about being elected/re-elected than anything else. No small wonder when you realize the benefits and salaries - including "pensions" for life involved, not to mention the lucrative lobbyist positions that seem to gravitate to former politicians.  It is worth noting that our billionaire president-elect has said he will not accept a salary for his term in office.

Although Trump won the electoral college vote he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. Not quite the landslide he claims and it has sewn the seeds of discontent.

Marketing is as important as ideas in elections these days.  Maybe  even more important.  Ask Bernie Sanders. Toss in a few dirty tricks to make it even tougher on the idea candidate.  

All of this is made possible by a disinterested electorate,  one where nearly half of those eligible do not vote. Too many years of broken promises and missteps.  And now a new generation is ready to assume its rightful place in our society and their ideas and attitudes are quite different than ours. Once again the times they are a changing.  Watch the right wing scramble to leave  their indelible mark.  It is all politics - and it is going to be an interesting ride. It is almost like the sixties all over only now I am in the older generation.   I wonder if my parents felt the same way then as I do now.