It’s Nice To Be Retired

Don’t be alarmed and think you have your days mixed-up, I will be away for the weekend. I am, as usual, going to the Hampton Jazz Festival. I love jazz and try to attend as many jazz concerts as I can attend. Therefore, my blog will be posted a day or two before the normal time I’ve chosen to post. I have been trying to get my link to Facebook to operate the way it should. I just can’t seem to pair my blog pages with Facebook. I don’t have problems pairing other sites but Facebook is stubborn for some reason or the other. Then there are the spammers and hackers on Facebook telling Facebook friends to re-accept me as their friend. Anyway, to get my two blogs, uninterrupted, just go to the blog page and click “follow” as well as “like” (I don’t get enough “like”). This way, each week, when I publish one of my blogs, it will automatically go to whomever mailbox that clicked “follow”. Never miss a blog again.

My religious blog (some people call it Trump bashing) is faithingodministries.net and that is with a tega4180@gmail.com e-mail address for comment, etc. The other, about retirement and other things, is tega227.com with tega227@gmail.com for comments, etc. So, if you want the blogs to come directly to your mailbox, privately, without hassle or missing a blog because of a screw-up or something, just hit “follow” and be among the first to get the blog. I really would appreciate comments and sharings with your family and friends with them following also (I try to acknowledge as many contacts as possible).

The hawks are flying but are staying either in the nest or close by the nest. They are only flying from tree limb to tree limb and have not ventured out into the vast feeding areas around Imperial Plaza. I am sure mama and papa want them to leave as soon as possible if not sooner (can you say “empty nester”). That nest look too small for two adult birds and three almost grown chicks. I don’t see how they do it but they manage and with these big wind storms we have been going through lately, make for a wild ride in that tall oak tree. It is also a beautiful sight to see the adult birds soaring up high on the wind currents, watching for a meal. We have plenty of rabbits and squirrels for them to feast on plus it also enables the garden to stay clear of intruding rodents.

Imperial Plaza had a bus trip to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, and the trip was, as far as I am concerned, fabulous. The estate was huge, well manicured and the interior of the house was larger than I thought it would be. In fact, we only had time to see the house and cemetery. Too bad we had to leave Sally Hemmings’ house, the slave quarters, gardens and underground tunnel (just to name a few other things) for some other time. For a late lunch, we stopped at the Wood Grill buffet in Charlottesville and pigged out. We all had more than enough to eat and saw other things to eat but was too full to attempt it. On the way back to Imperial Plaza, we ran into very heavy rain but it had stopped by the time we arrived at our destination.

Then There Were Three

Wow, and I thought there was only one. I have taken a lot of pictures of the hawks and have even taken many pictures of the chick in the nest. For days I have taken pictures of the chick alone and being fed. Then, a few days ago, as I was taking a few more pictures of the chick in the nest, I noticed two other birds. At first I thought mama and papa had joined the chick until I zoomed-in. Then I saw three chicks. Can’t mistake the adult birds and the chicks because the chicks still have the ruffled down on them. Pretty, to say the least. On my Facebook page I have posted a few pictures for all to see. If you want to see the pictures I have posted this month and last month, go to the page and you’ll see many pictures of the adult birds and of the chick(s). Now there are three, getting large, chicks. I don’t see how two adult hawks and three medium sized chicks can fit in the nest. Oh well, Mother Nature can do things we thought was impossible.

I have mentioned before about the proposed smoking ban at Imperial Plaza; well, nothing have publicly come out but the rumors are everywhere. Some places where people normally smoke have changed to other places but, still, there isn’t anything official. I say that to say this; there is a group of people that get together and smoke outside the main entrance of their building. They can be found there all day and into the late evening. One day, since the purported change, they have moved to the bench where I take pictures of the hawks. I don’t mind because I went there when they left but I wasn’t happy about them being there since it’s their bench also. Why, you are asking? Well, there is a stand-up ashtray beside the bench but these people rather drop their cigarette butts onto the ground when they could use the ashtray . There are a few of us that use that bench and this have never happened before. I hope they get their act together before there is a complete ban.

Thinking about fake news (?false news?), I have been taking pictures of the birds and squirrels around Imperial Plaza for quite awhile. Couple that with many new faces moving into Imperial Plaza. The other day, as I was passing through the Dogwood lobby area, where a few residents usually sit talking to each other, a resident that have resided here for a few years called me over and asked about the hawks and squirrels. I was introduced to the three or four new residents that was sitting there. When the conversation came around to the white squirrel at the main gate and the one behind the Boxwood building, a new resident corrected me by saying there is only one. She told me the one by the main gate is solid white and the one behind Boxwood have an off colored back which make it not solid white. I didn’t say anything. I pulled out my phone, bought-up my photos and showed the resident the white squirrel playing behind Boxwood (it’ll let a human get with-in three or four yards of it). The resident saw that it was white but said the photo does not show the back because the back is not white. I still did not say anything. I then showed a profile picture of the squirrel and one of the rear end. The resident looked startled and sat back into the seat. All smiles and grins left the resident’s face. A new resident and already knowing everything, more than the people that have been here much longer. Beware of things that are told to you without any proof or what you assume is fact without proof.

I’m posting a little early because I’ll be gone for the weekend but I want to say to all, have a safe and happy summer. Wherever you are, keep your eyes and ears open to everything around you. The world is much different than when I grew-up (in my day a person did not have to be always watchful), so be on your toes. See ya!!! 

Just News

Great news…on Facebook I labeled a photo of the white squirrel “long way from home”. I was wrong, that is not the white squirrel that reside and play near the front gate of Imperial Plaza. This is a second squirrel that now reside at the rear of the Boxwood apartment building. It is great to see another squirrel because there was three when I first moved here and all three died (one became hawk food, one was hit by a car and the other disappeared). I hope our hawk family doesn’t take it for lunch.

Thinking about the hawks, I am awaiting the sighting of the young ones. They should be getting large because the female hawk is on the rim of the nest most of the time and I seldom see the male. If I can get pictures of them learning to fly I will share them on my Facebook page. It should be soon. I have included a couple of pictures of the female on the rim of her nest.

The Wednesday bus trip to the Virginia War Memorial was good. Since I have been there many times as part of the Mighty Pen Project, I ended up being an unofficial guide for some of the attendees although there are people there that gives good information. After the Virginia War Memorial, we ate lunch at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. All I will say about the food there is that it was not what most of us were used to eating. The menu was geared mostly toward the vegetarian, of which I am not. Although it was very cloudy, wanting to rain, the rain held off and all was good.

My wife and I spent last Friday and Saturday at the great grand son’s naming ceremony. Had a great time, the baby never cried and he stayed awake much longer than usual. After two days in northern Virginia, my wife and I kept going to Maryland Live. We were to come back to Richmond on Monday but the weather forecast indicated pouring rain. We decided to stay an extra day and return when the roads were dry. WRONG! It drizzled rain Tuesday morning but it was mostly dry. But, the trip wasn’t wasted because I returned with a small profit.

We made it back in time to go to the White Squirrel for dinner, enjoying Eugene’s singing and, of course, dancing. The only complaint I have with the White Squirrel is it is always out of regular beer. I guess the reason is there is always lite-beer that no one want. There are many other places for us to go but most people here do not drive and is stuck with whatever there is here. Shame.

Well, the warm weather has been gone for a little while and will remain gone a while longer. I would call it a wake-up call to let people realize that Mother Nature will do what she want when she want to do it. It’s chilly but, I’ll make a huge bet, in two or three weeks everyone will be crying for it to be cooler. People are never satisfied, I guess.

Enjoy Memorial Day weekend. Be careful. Be vigilant! Have fun! Remember those that served and are presently serving brought America to where it is now and is keeping our our way of living secure. This weekend is not a weekend of celebration but a weekend of remembrance. God bless the USA and the troops that keep this nation free.

Memberships

I am proud to announce that I have been accepted into the Tuskegee Airman, Howard Baugh Chapter. I will be helping to spread the memory of these fine brave men and to help the chapter grow. It is an honor to give a hand and attempt to educate the younger generation about these men. Not only were they the men depicted in the movie “Red Tails”, but they did so much more. If it were not for them, African-Americans would not be where they are today in the military. Black people have been in every war and conflict that this country ever had. They were even on both sides of the Civil War. Another fact I want to put in…Capt. Howard L. Baugh of the 99th Fighter Squadron earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism on a mission on 12 May, 1944.

Then the history goes even further than that. Blacks started out in the Revolutionary War up to the present time. Blacks were flying in other countries before they were reluctantly excepted in the USA. Even then, they were given inferior equipment and segregated from the rest of the units. And looking at the movie “Red Tails”, they still did not gain the respect or honors as others, especially when they came back to America.

After World War Two, they were disbanded but some stayed in the Army and, after the Air Force was founded, some crossed over to it. Therefore, there was army and air force veterans that were actual Tuskegee Airmen in World War Two, The Korean War and The Viet Nam War, not counting the smaller conflicts around the world that we as Americans had a part in. Again, I am proud to be apart of them. I will do my best writing for them and speak when and where ever I can. Check them out on the internet http://www.hbc-tai.org

I am still part of the Mighty Pen Project (MPP), check them out on Facebook. I love to occasionally submit a story or two, for whichever class is in session at the time. The writings get dissected, sliced and diced and my heart sinks when there is something wrong that I should have known better. Such is life and a person learn from the mistakes. Therefore, I am happy to report that the Mighty Pen Project is still going strong and is gaining momentum. Let’s bring more aboard.

There is one more thing that have just come up and I will express my opinion in this blog. In other words, I want to vent so I may go on with life. I try to write my blogs, this one and the one with the religious theme, in a way that everyone can understand, both American and non-American. Some people call it “dummy down”. I call it using plain English. What I am referring to is an article I read the other day that used English but I still could not read it without using a dictionary for every third or fourth word. The article used long intricate words that defied the knowledge of the reader. I really don’t think the average PhD. grad could understand what was written. Why use such wording to confuse the average individual? I say this…I will continue to use plain English and if there is something that is not understood, let me know and I will attempt to clarify it. If I continue to confuse people, I am sorry and will try to change for the better.

My Chain Is Being Rattled

Imperial Plaza is a wonderful place but it seem to always start a controversy of some kind, all of the time. I don’t know why the place want to step in it because of one or two complaints, sooth the ruffled feathers and go on with life. Take care of the one small situation and go on with life without antagonizing the larger group. But no, the powers that be want to try to satisfy the one or two and rile the multitude. There are more important things to do than cause an uprising.

What am I talking about…at last month’s town hall meeting the director said smoking areas and regulations were to be changed. Nothing was said at this month’s town hall meeting but the grapevine is humming loudly and I have been approached by people wanting to know what I thought about it. I could not satisfactorily answer them because I don’t exactly know what is planned. But, I will give some of my thoughts here in this blog.

I am a smoker, I smoke cigars along with two others (that I am aware of), the rest smoke cigarettes. Us cigar smokers normally smoke in areas away from most people. I normally sit on a bench, out in the open, minding my own business. Occasionally someone will pass and comment but I say nothing. I’m outside on a bench, under a tree. What is the problem? Who am I hurting?

I see one area for cigarette smokers by one of the buildings that is next to someone’s window (this used to be an administrative office). That should change and I understand that but why mess with everyone else? Let me say it another way. Federal, state and local law say I can’t smoke inside. I can’t fight that. Us smokers have been moved outside, into the weather. Okay, at first there was a little fight and grumbling but over the years, people have settled into the groove left for us.

But, we have rights also. As long as it’s legal and as long as it’s sold by a legal operation, then it is not only legal but my right to participate in the activity if I so choose. I do not demand that someone chewing gum I don’t want to smell go out in the cold or rain or heat, etc. and chew their gum. Why should I? Am I being told that my rights are stripped from me because I smoke? Are the gum chewer’s rights stripped because they chew gum?

I can hardly wait to see what the new rule will be because I want to see where this smoking area will be or will I have to be off the property in order to smoke. That was never said before I signed a contract and it is not in my contract. I have five friends who are lawyers and I wonder what they have to say. I must ask them about my chances of winning if I brought litigation. I’ll just wait and see.

I remember, when I first moved to Imperial Plaza, pets were not allowed. Now they are and, although I was professionally a dog handler/trainer, I do not like having pets here. I have three reasons for saying this and it applies to about seventy five percent of the dog and cat owners. First, the dogs do not get enough exercise (jumping, running, playing, stretching those muscles, etc.). Second, some people don’t pickup after their animals, especially if the weather is bad outside. Third, quite a few people can hardly walk and they try to walk the animal out into the grass without falling, etc. Then, add to the slowness, the lack of exercise because the animal is on a leash and can only move as fast as the person at the other end of the leash.

I’ve stepped in dog feces and have seen it along the sides of building, in the stairwell and smelled it in the hallways and laundry rooms. Yet, concentration is on smokers. Maybe I have to move again. I’ve heard rumors of that also but never considered it until now. I like this place and I don’t mind paying for the convenience and comfort this place bring. However, a war is brewing and, unfortunately, I may be either right in front of it or in the middle. All I ever wanted was to live in peace but that seem to be a false hope. Oh well, if I must I must.

Metaphor

The Imperial Plaza hawks are beautiful, majestic and purpose serving. Sitting high in a tree that is by the parking lot of the building named “Boxwood”, I can sit on the bench, smoke my cigar and watch them (as well as take a picture or two). I have noticed that chicks have hatched and the female stays in the nest. Mothers, no matter what species of creature, with very few exceptions, take care of the young and the male hunts for both female and young.

In return for the nesting, the Imperial Plaza garden don’t have much trouble with animals picking through the garden taking what is there. They also provide pleasure through their soaring, jumping from one tree to another and being a sentinel by sitting on the ends of buildings keeping watch over the property. They do not cause any problems and, as far as I am concerned, they are welcome to stay as long as they desire.

It is ironical that we have hawks because one of my air force bases was Hahn AB,

W. Germany and the symbol was a hawk. I was there ten years and we were known as the Hahn Hawks. We have a Facebook site that tells the story of the base and a Facebook private site so we may stay in touch and talk in private. The Imperial Plaza hawks are another matter. They are immigrants.

I know that is a stretch but let’s look at this metaphorically. Lately the immigrants and the wall have been an issue but I can use the hawks as a metaphor for the immigrants.

The male and female hawks flew over our fence and set up home in the top of our tree. They were not invited but they are here anyway. However, they tend our garden and keep other vermin at bay. They don’t cause problems and stay to themselves. They do a job that we can not and will not do. Therefore, we live in harmony with them. We are not afraid of them and they are not afraid of us.

The wall and immigrant situation is just about the same. For years and years we have lived in harmony with many people that are not legal residents (most are legal). However, they tend and pick our produce, do construction work and many other things that Americans either don’t want to do or want much more money to do the job.

Okay, get rid of the birds. Let’s say, people are afraid of them and want them gone. What is left is a mess. Not a thing will be left in the garden because the animals will get it all. Squirrels and rabbits will take over, not counting the other small animals I have seen. Imperial Plaza will not be the same. The same thing will happen with the immigrants. The fields will not get picked, tree edibles either, we will be short of construction workers as well as other low pay employee jobs like lawn care.

Think about the pay. The immigrant will work for ten dollars an hour or less. The high brow American want more, much more. Ten dollars an hour for a ten to twelve hour day is not as much as fifteen dollars an hour or more. The American will only work five days a week or less and the immigrant will work six or seven days a week, if you let them. Then there is anything over eight hours of work become overtime but not for the immigrant, unless it is automatic, and anything over a five day work week (forty hours) is overtime unless you’re an immigrant.

I watch the male bird bring food to the nest for the female and the chicks. It is a pretty sight. The bird keep a little, so as to have the strength to continue working, and the rest is for the nest. The immigrant is the same. They make the money, keep a little and send the rest home (where ever the locale), just like the birds. Most Americans will make the maximum amount of money they can, keep most of it for themselves and give the family as little as possible.

There is another part to this saga. Send the male and female birds back across the fence because they are illegal. The chicks must stay because they were born here and have a birth right. Now Imperial Plaza must care for the chicks. They must provide food, lodging, medical care, clothes, etc. That will be a lot of money when the male and female birds were doing it and Imperial Plaza did not pay anything.

The same applies for the immigrants, The kids that were born here must stay and we, the tax payers, must foot the bill until they become adults. Sure, we pay a little now but not as much when they don’t have parents to care for them. We must think before we leap because everything we do have a consequence that may bite and we will all suffer. Any comeback about my little metaphor? Hummm

The Pen Is Mighty

“The pen is mightier than the sword”. This is the phrase that have been said for “X” number of years. More years than any of us have lived or can remember. It is the truest words ever spoken. After my blog, where I wrote about “The alarm clock” and the one about ROMEO, both here at Imperial Plaza, things changed. I didn’t speak with anyone about it, nor did I see anyone about it, but things changed. The trash truck comes around a little later. The leaf blower is a little later. ROMEO is back to the way it used to be. Alas, I didn’t do anything but write because I am only a force of one and I am tired from fighting losing battles. So, in order to vent, I wrote.

Venting is a good way to relieve stress and pain in a way that does not hurt anyone. This blog, for instance, is a small way of venting. Letting off steam peacefully and calming down because of the length of time it takes to write a blog. I write this blog on retirement (I get off course at times) and I write the religious blog (I get off that track at times also). Sometimes the lines of both blogs blur into each other because my mind is muddled a lot. I have a lot going through my mind all the time. I guess that comes with old age and, the Lord knows, I feel really old at times. So I write, hoping to relieve my muddled mind, and that helps to make the pen mightier than the sword.

A person suppose to rest (relax), and slow down during their waning years. I find myself becoming busier and busier than ever but, in a way, I enjoy it but I also rest. I’m not as frantic as I used to be. This keeps me active, my mind stays alert and keeps me healthy. Everyday I see so many people, some younger than I am, that are on their last legs (as the saying goes). I see them sitting around, doing nothing but talking to each other; smoking and talking to each other or just sitting do nothing. Deteriorating. Getting sicker by the day. There are so many things to do here at Imperial Plaza that are FREE yet they participate in nothing. I am given one excuse after another for not participating and none of it seem true to me. Then I see those that are active, energetic, vibrant, full of life and are in their eighties, nineties and a couple at one hundred. Life is being active and being active is life. I shouldn’t complain, I am not complaining. I want to live a long healthy life, however, I do not need more to do.

I have my writing, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, bicycle, some television programs, appointments, going around with my wife (driving to the casinos, shows, appointments, etc.), family gatherings, fishing and a few things here at Imperial Plaza. I am now seriously thinking about accepting the offer to help the Tuskegee Airmen on their talk circuit (I still help the Mighty Pen Project on their talk circuit). There is so much that I do that I, at times, can’t attend something because other things all of a sudden take priority. While doing these things, my mind is always on the next blog to write, what will it be about and the construction of that blog..

That’s it for venting with nothing really to vent about. I just hope the feeble people that does nothing at all find something to become more active. This way they will live a longer, healthier life by being more productive. And, I thank God for letting me put down the sword and pickup the pen.