Category Archives: RETIREMENT

The English Language

The other day I talked to a young man and I barely understood what he was saying. I know I am an older individual and my hearing is not getting any better. In fact, it is getting worst at each check-up. I was given hearing aides to help my tinnitus and hearing loss. However, I heard him perfectly, it was the way he spoke. I speak English and two other languages but I have a very hard time understanding badly spoken English (broken).

Here is the problem, it seems that today’s young people believe it is okay and very hip to speak that way. I, of course, do not. Sorry. I guess I am old school but think about this. A few other countries speak English as their language. There are a few other countries that speak English as a second language. There are many countries that have a law that require English to be taught in school, from beginning to end. Broken English is not taught or spoken in any country that I am aware of. Then I must ask the question, why does so many people speak broken English?

English is taught in American schools and a degree can be obtained in college, university. I was in radio and television and I know very correct English must be spoken while on the air. I also know that correct English must be written for all professional media forums. Broken English is forbidden and frowned upon in any form. I attempt to write correctly although at times I fail. I want to be understood because I am aware my blog is in ethernet and can be seen by anyone anywhere in the world.

These people that use broken English, in media form as well as face to face, really believe they are fashionable, understood and there isn’t anything wrong. These same people may one day try for a higher job position and wonder why they were passed over. CEOs do not hire people that may present a poor image and language is one of the deciding factors about which the CEO base on whether to hire or not. The resume is another and if it is filled with writing errors, forget being hired for the job.

The educational system has jumped onto the bandwagon and have acquiesced to the point of students using block letters instead of cursive letters. Will banks accept checks that have a signature using block letters? In writing other things, are block letters a signature? I remember being with the grandkids at a mystery house, looking for clues that will lead the way out, there were many clues that I could read and they could not. The clues were in plain sight but in cursive writings. I showed them, but they still could not read it.

I also remember asking about the content of a speech and not a single child could explain what was said because large words were used. However, a rap song was on the radio, I could barely understand the words, but the kids could understand each word. Language is everything and we, as a nation, is losing our language as well as other very important things. Once this older generation is gone, the younger generation will, among other things, lose this nation’s language and capability to write. Only a few will be able to do the things that make our nation unique from other nations. Something that have been existence from its beginning.

 

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Young People And Education

As usual, my wife and I went on another trip (casino/horseracing), this time to Hollywood Casino in Charlestown, West Virginia. We drove from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Imperial Plaza Senior Living in Richmond, Virginia. I ate breakfast with some old friends, went around the place greeting other old friends. We boarded a bus with the group that was going to the casino and had a pleasant trip. We stayed overnight because horseracing is always in the evening, and that was a lot of fun. We returned before the rain hit and got a hotel room in Richmond.

That same evening, we had a birthday celebration at Outback and had a good time being with a daughter, her husband and three daughters. The food and shenanigans were good which made me really miss seeing them as often as we used to. After saying our goodbyes, we went back to the hotel and I started reading messages on my pad.

The more I read the various messages, the more my mind kept straying to the English language structure and what I was reading. It seems that young people think it is so hip, cool or in fashion to misspell and/or butcher the English language. It is now natural to write in a bad way or to shorten a sentence or word. It is funny to them to write in such a way as it makes a normal person (senior citizen) cringe.

I know cursive writing is not taught in school these days. I’ve been retired from employment for a while and I wonder what employers think about this or are they making amends? I also wonder about banking; are banks making amends? What about misspelled words in the work place (ex: ‘your’ instead of you’re’)? In government as a whole? I remember, when I was in school, a child was graded on penmanship. Not anymore, I guess.

Today, young people write as if they are texting and must minimize the number of letters that are used in a message. Then, after all is said and done, it is a habit as well as ‘cute’, make them stand out among their peers. A few young people have tried to quantify the usage of such writing and have even suggested I should do it because it the way it is done now. I can not see myself putting a ‘z’ in place of ‘s’ or writing shorthand for words.

My own personal thoughts; the USA educational system is going to hell in a handbasket. I have asked college students common, easy questions and can not get an answer because they do not know. They have no idea what I am talking about. Something I knew in high school years ago. I have talked to high schoolers about things I knew in elementary school, they had no idea what I was talking about.

We, as Americans, supposed to have or want to have the best education system among all nations yet we are under-educating our children and putting up with the bad habits that they show. Why? What is the reasoning? Some say that they must try things on their own and become adults. They can not become adults and know right from wrong if they are never taught the right way and the continuous bad way is tolerated. We as older adults and the teachers and the educational system are doing our kids, our future, an injustice. Many other nations are not surpassing our system, they have surpassed our system. Our young people have been dummied down and will stay that way because I do not see any plans to change this.

 

The Jazz Legacy Gala

My wife and I just returned from the 2018 (6th annual) Jazz Legacy Foundation gala at The Main in Norfolk, Virginia. As usual, it was great and, yes, seniors do get out and enjoy themselves (not all were seniors, but most were). Really had a good time for the last three days out of four. Now, let me explain why we attended three days out of four. We wanted good seating and wanted to insure to get tickets to the event, hotel room and tickets are bought a week after the last gala. Regular tickets go on sale the first day of March and will normally be sold out by June or July. We were living in Richmond at the time the ticket sales started, two hours by interstate away, but we live only twenty minutes away, give or take five minutes, now.
The venue holds thousands (two or three thousand maybe) and there is fun, fun, and more fun. Imagine that many people, all dressed nicely, with Saturday reserved for dinner in suits and gowns, 50/50 raffles, drinks for sale, vendors of almost everything and, most of all, not one argument or fight anywhere. Why did I mention that? One would hear about fights, shootings and arguments at other shows all the time. I just read about an argument and fight at a symphonic concert in Sweden.
Let me dive in even further about how congenial our older Black people are. Saturday afternoon we cruised on the Spirit of Norfolk for lunch and music. A couple of the performers were with us (comedian Jay Lamont and singer Phil Perry). They performed, greeted people, took pictures with people and ate lunch with us. As we were seated, a person did not know who they are seated with but, through good conversation, soon found out. The good party atmosphere all too soon came to an end which left just enough time to go to the hotel to change clothes for the day’s performance.
I guess you are wondering who was there this year. Well, hold on to your hat. Pieces of A Dream, Damien Escobar, Marion Meadows, Jonathan Fritzen, Incognito w/Maysa, Kim Waters w/Phil Perry, Mindi Abair & The Bone Shakers, Mike Phillips, Nick Colionne, Gregory Porter, Najee, Alex Bugnon, Gina Payne, Stephanie Mills, Eric Benet, Candy Dulfer, Athea Renee & Elan Trotman.
We were told who will perform next year (Wow, what a line up) and early bird tickets can be gotten next week for forty-eight hours. After that, tickets can be gotten starting in March 2019. I’m biting at the bit to get my tickets and hotel room. Why get a hotel room? Two reasons. First, there is drinking at the shows and I don’t want to drive after having a drink. Second, since the gala is moving back to The Hampton Convention Center, it would mean I would go through the Hampton Bay Bridge Tunnel and there is always a back-up. To get your tickets, etc. go to their web site: http://www.jazzlegacyfoundation.org
Still biting at the bit, we will be in attendance unless something happens that prevent our attendance. I always look forward to this gala and the Hampton Jazz Fest (I occasionally miss this one and it is across the street from the Convention Center). If you also want to attend this one, get your tickets almost a year in advance. The Hampton Coliseum gets sold out also but sometimes there are a few tickets available. And, the longer you wait to get a hotel room the further away from the venue you will be. The biggest difference between the two is Hampton Jazz Festival is in the spring and the Jazz Legacy Foundation gala is in the fall. Both are great. Come join us and let’s have some fun.
I’ve put a couple pictures here from almost five hundred. If anyone want more pictures, let me know and I will send it to you: http://www.tega227@yahoo.com or (most reliable) http://www.tornmail1@yahoo.com  I also have the pictures I took last year. I usually sit near the middle (cheaper than near the front) and take zoom shots or from one of the two large screens. Lastly, if you like the article, tell me by hitting like, and if you have a suggestion on what you want me to write about, let me know in comments or e-mail. I’ll do my best to honor your request. See ya…Go have some fun.

 

Reactions

Sitting here on my balcony, not many yards from the Chesapeake Bay shore (being written on Thursday evening), with not a thing to do but wait on the remnants of hurricane Michael. This area will receive a little rain this afternoon and overnight, very high winds tomorrow. It is strange to not see boats on the bay because the boaters have disregarded advisories many times before. They are cautious today, uhm, strange. The naval fleet is still tied tight to their docks. I didn’t hear they are leaving to ride it out at sea like they did for the last hurricane. This also make me think of the air force base that is positioned in the Florida panhandle. The base took almost a direct hit from hurricane Michael. I remember a base that was wiped out, during a hurricane in Florida a few years ago, and it was never rebuilt. Storms are getting worst, but politicians say there is no climate warming although scientists are saying there is. Which is it?

Thinking about climate warming, the ice that is in the north and south poles, is getting thinner and huge icebergs are starting to break off from the main mass. Polar bears and seals are having a hard time finding refuge and hunting grounds. That is why they are coming inland to populated areas. Survival is the word and main factor. The action and reaction.

It is said, I learned in school, ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’. That has a meaning in everything that is done (can also be applied to ‘said’). Most people never realize or think about the reaction from what they do or say. It is very prevalent for the last two years or so and for years to come, until we get control of this very crass banter. I call it banter because things have been said to get a reaction. However, the reaction may not be what is hoped for or, normally, will be.

There are many things that will soon cause reactions, that is causing strong reactions that will hurt both sides of the political world. I am talking about West and Swift. Both individuals have followers in the millions, but the question is, how many will follow them? Willie Nelson can be counted as another and there are more big names in the mix. Who will win? What will the reactions be? I know what I will do but I wonder about the country’s reactions and the outcome.

The dictionary definition of reaction is (1 movement in the direction of political conservatism or extreme rightism. (2 action in response to some influence, event, etc.. And this goes on even further. However, there is one form of reaction that I want everyone to heed. Go to the polls and vote. Laying back, hoping others will carry the ball, will not exert pressure onto either side and will accomplish nothing but apathy, no reaction. That is one of the things that went wrong during the last election. A lot of real blood, sweat and tears was shed for all citizens to vote. Use that right. Vote. React!

 

Joy And Strong Feelings

Last weekend my wife and I went to the Oceana NAS Air Show and it was great with two exceptions. First was the simulated bomb drop (or was it a simulated napalm drop). A large boom, fire and smoke. I suddenly thought of Viet Nam. Bad! And to make a very good show bad, it took two hours to get off the base. I don’t know what the problem was, but we sat still for over forty- five minutes before we could move.

During the show there was a plane that the Black Sheep flew (remember the television show about the U S Marines of WWII?). Never realized the aircraft was that fast. The Snowbirds from Canada and, of course, the Blue Angels were there. Other aircraft was there and put on a great show. The rocket fire truck and parachutists did their thing, many photos were taken.

I loved the static displays. No only was the Navy well represented but so was the Air Force. Big Bertha (B-52 Bomber) was there and that bought back many fond memories. I didn’t recognize the tail configuration, but I haven’t been around that bomber since the 1980’s. It must have gone through many moderations since then. Time flies.

Thinking about the B-52, I must go to the air show at Langley. I want to see what the Air Force have that is new to me. The noise level will be greater than at Oceana, I am sure. It is great to be among so many military bases and they all, at some time, have an open house and put on demonstrations. Make a career military person really miss being in the military. Most memories are good, sprinkled with some bad.

Being on the flight line, smelling the jet fuel, hearing the jet noise during takeoff/fling/landing, and, most of all, seeing Security, with M-16’s, walking the area. What make that so good is the fact that women were just coming to be as I was retiring. I saw many women walking about with their M-16’s all over the place. During my time in the military there were very, very few women in Law Enforcement and none in Security.

Before I close I want to strongly suggest all people to vote during the mid-term elections. I am not asking one party or the other to vote. I am asking everyone to express their right to vote. Voting can shift the country either way, depending on which side turn out most voters. We are at a pivotal point in the nation and voting will turn into new territory (or not, if turnout is poor) and will have the potential to bring the country together (or splinter it further). Of course, whichever side lose will have many people that will be very angry that their side lost. It is up to us to do our part and, through voting, express our feelings. Don’t let the chance to vote and be heard go by. If you don’t vote, you don’t have anything to say about anything. See you at the polls, rain or shine. My wife and I voice will be heard but we know we need more than our voices. We need yours also.

 

Funerals

I am scraping, at least for this blog’s issue, what I originally wrote and will write about this weekend’s funerals. We have lost two great people, in our time line, and they both will be sorely missed. These were contrasting funerals; one somber and one long with hype. Both were expected to be the way it happened.

Aretha Franklin was the Queen of Soul and will never be forgotten. Her music will live on forever. The funeral was over eight hours long and most of the entertainers of song were there. The funeral was filled with music coupled with speeches. Quite a few celebrities sang her songs and a few sang traditional songs that Blacks usually sing during high spirited church services. The eight hours were long although the music didn’t make it seem so.

She passed on as the queen she was. During her lying in state to the interment, she had three wardrobe changes and a viewing by thousands of people. She was driven in a nineteen forty nine (I think) white hearse, the same one her father was carried in. From all over the country pink Cadillacs were bought in and the long rows of cars were parked outside the church. This was in remembrance of her hit song “Pink Cadillac”. What a sight and what a way to go.

People were there that I have not seen in a long time and are very old as well. They all looked and sounded good. Stevie Wonder started his time by playing the harmonica, something I have not seen him do in many years, before he played the piano and sang. The church was jubilant with all the music and singing.

Senator John McCain’s funeral was solemn and the church was filled with dignitaries from all parts of the political world as well as both sides of the political aisle. Former President Obama and Former President Bush both spoke. President Trump was dis-invited and the eulogies, which include his daughter Meghan, took swipes at Trump. It was not a surprise.

I admired this man, not only as a military veteran but also as a politician. This was one person that was well known to reach across the aisle and work with everyone. He would disagree and, when shown something different that he could go along with, he would be man enough to agree. He did not put party ahead everything but cared about what was right, lawful, helped the USA, no matter the party view.

Unfortunately, Senator Graham, who was his very beat friend, a person that stood beside him on many, many views, and was against Trump as was Senator McCain is now staunchly in the President’s corner He has reversed almost everything he have said in the past. Oh, what can happen in a week (a day?).

So I watched funerals and I wonder, as I have in the past, what will mine be like? I really don’t want all the hoopla that go on (it’s a waste of money, in my opinion), just have a few prayers and bury me. I just hope I have lived up to the hopes and standards that was expected of me. I hope I haven’t done any wrong to anyone. I also hope I have been some help to someone that needed it. We all must pass on some day, let’s hope there is something good to say after you’re gone.

 

Just Do It

There are always things to do, places to go, never let grass grow under your feet. Being a senior let you do many things that a working person wish they had the time to experience. Not only does the senior have the time to ‘Just Do It’, but there is the advantage to get the discounts that a senior have available. For instance, my wife and I decided to venture to the Water Front of Virginia Beach, Virginia since we now live here and it is not far away.

After our normal late rising (we go to bed late), which is around nine in the morning, we then decided to eat before going to the Water Front. We decided to see what taking the bus would do for us. It was great to try it and really better than I thought it would be. The bus stop was only a block away and it took about fifteen minutes to travel to the Water Front, with a stop at the First Landing State Park entrance.

One good reason that inspired us to take the bus was (1 the cost ($1) and (2 parking on the Water Front, if parking on the street can’t be found, the cost is $10 and up in a lot or $2 an hour in the parking garage. A dollar per person is not bad. We left the bus a block from the statue of King Neptune which is half way down the length of the boardwalk. There were many people on the beach, as usual, but we leisurely walked along the boardwalk enjoying ourselves, eating donuts from Duck Donuts and just being one of the tourists (we weren’t). We then decided to pay our dollar a piece and return by bus to our residence, Overture Virginia Beach.

After arriving, being hot, we decided to splash around in the pool. That is another thing being a senior does for you. Take your time and do whatever. Our whatever was to hit the pool. There were a few people in the pool or just lying around in the beach chairs. Life is great. The sun had really warmed the hot tub and pool but it was bearable. I just floated around while watching the boats on the Chesapeake Bay. I was out there fishing two days before and wanted to be out there again.

Thinking about the fishing trip, it was good, not great, because a small amount of fish was caught. Croaker and Trout was the only fish caught, I can hardly wait for Stripped Bass (Rock Fish) season to arrive. I had the fish filleted on the dock and for two day I ate fish for breakfast and dinner. I am becoming a hardcore senior. I just get plenty of sun, water and fish but I have to slowdown a little. It’s football season. It won’t matter soon because cold weather will soon be here which mean one part of my pleasures will be gone. The pool.

So, look at it my way. Being a senior is not bad and can be our type of fun. Take your time and ‘Just Do It’. Have all the fun you can when you can. Don’t slow down and let your age catch you. Keep moving, have fun doing it but ‘Just Do It’.