Tag Archives: military

Rolling Dung Balls

What should I write about in this week’s blog? I look at a blank page and I have many thoughts going through my head. There is much in the news and you can read it for yourself. I do not need to rehash the thoughts and comments of those that are more qualified than me in doing so. I also have been away for a couple of weeks and there is a lot to comment about. But, do you want to read about that? I don’t think so. As I grow older, I let a lot of things go simply because either it doesn’t interest me, doesn’t concern me or both. I realize political things that seem as not concerning to me really does, eventually.

I’ll give an example. Here, in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, medical personnel on the military bases are losing their jobs because of the cuts to military cutback issues. I am enrolled with the Veteran Healthcare System and I wonder. I wonder what effect will the cuts have on me and people like me? How many other areas are affected? If I must seek medical care, will there be an overload because of cutbacks elsewhere? This is the dung ball rolling downhill.

Every entitlement I have, as well as others, is slowly being eroded and, someday, will amount to nothing. That dung ball is rolled along by the dung beetle in the White House. I am one of the grains of sand that is rolled up in the dung ball. I didn’t start the ball rolling and I don’t know where the dung ball come from. I just got caught up in it, along with so many others. There are other grains of sand laughing, thinking they will not be caught up in a dung ball, not realizing there are other dung balls. Look out because the path of the next dung ball may come your way.

There is a lot of dung out there and there are many dung beetles to push the dung your way. To the beetle, you are just a grain of sand the will either be pushed aside or run over. The beetle does not care about you and only want you out of the way so it can continue doing its job. Rolling dung. The saying is, ‘you are what you eat’. In this metaphor, “roll’. The person in the White House, and the people that are for him and work with him are all dung beetles and ‘we the people’ are all grains of sand.

How can the grains of sand be a force that stop the beetle? Simple. Work as one, band together and be the wall of resistance that the beetle cannot roll the dung ball over. He will either go around, if the wall is not too wide, or give up. That mean, either we, as a united front, be that wall that want a just democracy or perish from this democracy by being rolled up in the dung ball that is pushed by the dung beetles. The choice is ours. Not me. Not you. All of us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the taste and smell of the dung ball. I don’t eat dung and I don’t like the beetles that roll it.

 

Advertisements

I’m Back

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted because this is the beginning of the warm season. I say ‘warm season’ because it starts a little later for some. If you are south of the equator, it is the beginning of the cool season. No matter, I was away on a cruise and had a good time. There was a couple of reasons my wife and I decided to take this early cruise, it left from Norfolk, Va. (twelve miles away) and it is just before the hurricane season. The other day, I saw on television that there is already one named storm in the Atlantic Ocean, but it will turn east and not strike the USA east coast.

This was our first time sailing with the Carnival Cruise Line. We normally travel with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and what a difference. We’ll stay with Royal Caribbean from now on. However, we went to Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. All three stops were great. We have been to Nassau and Freeport before. We love those areas, in fact, we love the islands and try to go as much as possible. The one island I love the most is Puerto Rico and would love to live there.

We returned to the USA, spent a few days taking care of business at home and, the following weekend, off again. That is what being retired is all about. Come and go at will. No clock to punch. No cares except where to go next. We have three major places to go to (that I am aware of. There may be others that have escaped my memory) this year. I just love being retired.

One of my old military outfits is having a get together in California next month. Unfortunately, unlike what I requested of them, they gave short notice on the date of the reunion and we have something in that time slot that we cannot undo. I was stationed in California; my daughter was born there but my present wife has never been there. I would love to show her my old base and other things. Maybe we’ll go on our own. I know everything have changed since I was last there and it would be a refresher for me.

Since I have been incommunicado for three weeks, I see the political scene is really heating up (or should I say, getting hotter). The most shocking thing is the abortion laws being put into place by the southern states (I don’t remember any northern states being listed. I may be mistaken). This make it seem like secession all over again only, this time, against women. It is not a civil war although it is a war waged by Trump and his loyalists. Being that it is a war against women will make it a bitter fight. There are also the people called to come to a congressional committee, but they are refusing to appear (ordered to do so by Trump). Now there is all three branches of government involved.

Well, I am back, and I will attempt to put out my weekly blogs, but with a few lapses here and there, it’s the warm season and we’re retired. We have places to go and fun to have. I’ll leave you with a half dozen pictures or so.   

Training

Life is rough. A child must learn from a strong hand guiding, pushing, and disciplining. This is for a child to acquire the attitude of an upstanding person. Likewise, I have written in my other blog (www.faithingodministries.net) about leading a good life for God. Leading a good, upstanding life is not easy, to begin with, but it gets easier as time goes by, mature guidance.

While serving in the military, I became the kennelmaster and had many talks with my men. I have told them, many times, that you train your dog as you train your child and train your child as you train your dog. They both learn by repetition and discipline. I trained many dogs that way and I reared my child that way. I was never sorry I did it that way. All my dogs, military and civilian, were well trained and loved me. My child, a girl, and I was very, very close although she felt the reality of corporal punishment.

In today’s time, there are so called animal experts that do not want anything that resemble a cruel act toward the animal. No corporal punishment. There are agencies and courts, that frown upon any type of a hitting discipline. Of course, there are people that go overboard. They can not control what they are doing, or they do not know any better. I will put them in another category. I want to speak about normality.

Let me start with the dog first. Not wild dogs but the domesticated dog. There is a difference. My dogs all wore the choke chain, coupled with voice commands. This was for control and discipline. There is a right way and a wrong way to place the chain around the dog’s neck. I have been to many vet offices and civilian kennels that didn’t know the correct way. When the choke chain is on wrong, a tightening on the chain will leave it that way when the tightening is released and continue to choke the dog. When it is placed correctly, the chain loosens when pressure is released. The dog is only choked momentarily. The dog is not injured. The dog is disciplined. The dog learns that when it does a certain thing or does not listen, it will be disciplined.

The child learns the same way. Not with a choke chain but minor hitting and your voice. The child, as will the dog, will do as much as it can safely get away with. They will attempt to control you to do what they desire. These are the ones that grow-up out of control and on the fast slide to be incarcerated. Most of the time it is too late for correction, they hardened when they are incarcerated.

As a police officer, I have seen these kids acting out with their parents present. Cussing and striking their parent or parents. The child is told they will be punished, and the child will tell the parent that they can’t make them do something or they refuse to do something, or they threaten to call social services, etc. I love kids. I don’t like a child that is disobedient and out of control. Society caused this, for the child and the dog. I have known people to call animal control because someone jerked the leash of a dog. In today’s society, the dog cannot be corrected, and neither can the child.

I only touched lightly on this subject. However, all I want you to do is think about it objectively. I do not know a kid from my era that did not get whippings (that is what we called them), and no one have suffered because of it, and neither are we incarcerated. I have trained many dogs and have used rough treatment at times. The dogs are fine. They have learned and obey instantly. Bottomline, train your dog as you would your kid. Train your kid as you would your dog. Being soft and being on the same level as the child or dog is not the way.

 

Women And Equality

I will gently touch a subject that have many twists and turns. I will lightly touch on women that want equality in all fields that men usually have. Fields that, all my life, have excluded women for several reasons. Most reasons were not to brashly exclude women but was to protect the gentle woman. I agree that some jobs women can do. I agree women can probably do as good as a man or better than a man. I will only explore a tiny portion of the situation.

A friend and I was talking and somehow the comment arose about the many females working and very few men. We were talking about stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc.  I wanted to know where the males were. My friend stated that the men were, maybe, home while the female made the money and took care of them. The same can be said about the country.

For many years, in the military, women sewed clothes, cooked and nursed. Women slowly got other jobs. Here in the modern era, women loudly protested and received jobs other than combat related. Women loudly protested again and received jobs closer to combat duties. They did well. None have been captured by the enemy (I shiver thinking about what they would have to endure). There are many situations that I would not want a woman involved in. That is only one situation. They are now in combat roles. On the ground, at sea, in the air.

Look at sports. There is an NFL referee. There are women sports announcers, writers and analysts, just to name a few positions. There are women amateur football teams, but they want to play with the men, against the men. This is also true in other sports. I would allow them to play against each other, but not against the professional men’s team. That would be like an NFL team playing against a high school team.

I am not against women equity. I am looking at what is happening and what could be. The world is messed up. Men are becoming weaker. Doing much less than they used to. Women are doing more. It has become a situation where, sometimes, I wonder if it is a woman or man doing a job. By that I mean years ago I could see someone from a distance, and I could tell you if the person was male or female. It is difficult today. I can be close, wondering if I should use a male or female pronoun, he or she. Men dress as women. Women dress as men. Hair styles are something to behold. Many are wanting gender transformation. Many are on the ‘down-low’. Be quiet when you speak about them or find yourself in court. They would love to sue you.

Women can not do everything a man can. A man can not do everything a woman can. They were both made differently. Their body functions are different. Medically, they are treated differently because, internally, they are different. I am not saying women should be paid differently. I am not saying jobs should be doled out differently. I am saying men and women should understand that they are different. They should understand they can not always do what the other does. It does not mean there is an attempt to hold a woman down or a man down, it means there are things one or the other will have difficulty accomplishing. This is not inequity, it’s common sense.

This piece could and should go further, however, it would be a book. I am sure, even then, much would be missed. I believe women should be equal to men. However, for certain jobs, there are things that must be separated. Not all women can do everything. Not all men can do everything. That is a fact.

 

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.

 

Relocating

 

 

I finally have relocated to Virginia Beach, about two hours from Richmond, a few yards from the beach. I returned to Imperial Plaza for the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) monthly outing and we all had a really good time with good food. Laughing, joking and having a good time with my buddies made the day for me. It was a really good break from unpacking. My wife had a nail appointment at her usual nail salon after which she and her sister went out to eat. Who say seniors can’t have fun?

The thing about moving is finding things you forgot you have and taking more time than you have looking at pictures/items long forgotten but, my, my how memories return. There are several hard parts with one is finding your way around the new surroundings. Going through the streets watching the driving habits that are different from where you come from. There is also the joy of finding shortcuts that are not featured on GPS, avoiding the volume of traffic during the rush hours. In a few weeks I should be able to go where ever I desire without a thought, GPS or map. I remember being stationed in Europe; I would purposely drive around the larger cities, hopelessly lost, but not afraid. By the time my gasoline is getting low I would somewhat know the city. I would not know it like a local but I would know it. That is what I am trying to do, in time, here.

There is the myriad of empty boxes with a few more to go. Where to put it all is beyond me and I am wondering how we accrued all the things we are finding. The thrift stores will acquire quite a bit before we are finished with it all. I finally can move through this place without sliding side ways from one side of a room to the other. However, this bring on wonderful memories of my many military moves. Oh, well, the things I am really looking for must be in one of the boxes I haven’t emptied yet, I hope.

Another difficult part of relocating is getting used to new routines as well as meeting new people (it takes me awhile to remember a name). For some odd reason I find myself waking earlier than usual but on an odd day or two I do sleep late (blame it on the salt air, so refreshing). It is good during this time of year, however, when it gets dark earlier and sunrise later, I doubt I will be in to it as much. Then, being on the coast, with the water a hundred yards away, may be a problem if or when a hurricane arrive and the water floods the area. We’ll deal with that when the time come to deal with it. Until then, we’ll enjoy what is here.

Well, summer is here and it’s fun time. Many people prefer cold weather, winter snow, I don’t. I spent too many years in the military surrounded in cold weather and snow. Now that I am not required to do it, I will not. Have fun, stay safe and I’ll see you the later.

Changes

I have attended two military management schools plus one when I became a civilian. The first thing that is always drummed into my head that I have found to be true today: there is always a resistance to change. In all my years of moving around in the military or having a change of command, I learned to adapt, go with the flow, things are not as bad as it seem, life goes on.

At the end of the month Bookdale Senior Living will leave to be replaced by Somerby Senior Living. Change. As I look into Somerby, as president of the Resident Council and as an independent resident at Imperial Plaza, I don’t, at this time, see any negative signals about the change. At this time, all I see are positive things. Sure, the pharmacy is lost but that was a part of Brookdale and, as told to me, Brookdale could not find a replacement willing to operate on the premises. Somerby, looking into their other facilities, have never operated a pharmacy on their premises. Maybe later they can be talked into trying although there are many regulation hoops to jump through. Changes.

A lot of people at Imperial Plaza either do not understand or refuse to understand that to them this is their residence but to Somerby or any other company this is a business and businesses must abide by laws and regulations. They want to not cause any disruption to the daily lives of the residents but, at the same time, must do what business practices demand. Sure, with change there will be some disruption of the way things have been done but change cause people to adjust to the subtle change in the way things were done.

Many people, especially senior citizens, want to stay in the same old mold and do not want to change, whether good or bad. They do not want to try something new or even talk about it. I have found a lot of people here always talking about the way it was done back in the ’40s and ’50s and they still want it done that way. On days when the activities department have music, old swing music have the place almost full. On days when up to date music is played, very few people attend then complain that there is nothing to do. They hate change and have to be dragged along into a new era.

I wish Somerby luck in managing Imperial Plaza and attempting to drag the stubborn individuals into a new system. I wish the residents stop asking the same questions over and over, put into a different format and getting the same response, hoping for a different answer. That goes back to the old saying: you can satisfy some of the people some of the time but not satisfy all the people all of the time.

On that note, to those reading this at Imperial Plaza, the blogs will continue but not from Imperial Plaza. My wife and I will relocate to Virginia Beach, right down the road (interstate 64) to a new senior living facility on the beach. My wife and I will return for visits and activities and we will always remember the good times we had at Imperial Plaza. However, as I have said, the blogs will go on and the readers around the world will continue to wonder what I have to say next. I hope I can honor their wishes and make it entertaining. Change is inevitable, we also are changing.