Tag Archives: money

Looking Back

It is difficult to understand the reasoning, exploited by some people, to wrap themselves in the past. They constantly talk about the past as if it was in the present tense, conduct themselves the way they acted in the past, and never realizing the present conversation is about the present. There are many people like this, and most are senile. Situations like this is fine if you are talking about past adventures, situations or studying history. But, to constantly seek the past, especially in conversation or mindfulness, is another. Counselling help is needed.

However, the other side of the coin is a little tougher for most to understand. In trying to understand this, most people take it too far and read into it more than is there. This is where you must know the past, understand it and attempt to not repeat it (unless it is good). People should take the past into consideration when attempting to do something new. In other words, tweak it a little bit so as not to make the same mistake again. Seems easy enough but some people cannot do it.

The President must think he is starting the 2016 campaign and he is running against Hillary  Clinton. Bringing up the e-mail situation, as if it is current, and the shouting about ‘lock her up’ is a campaign that is still in the past and he is running against an invisible person. That is someone that is in the past and will not appear again. He should be taking lessons learned and apply them to the present campaign. He should be taking lessons from past Presidents and apply them to his administration. He should be taking past policies and use them to accomplish a smooth-running administration. In this way, looking into the past can help.

Looking into the past is a good thing but to attempt to correct something that occurred many, many years ago is next to impossible. Reparation for Black slaves is another next to impossible. Looking back at the situation, learning from the situation and making sure it does not occur again is great but looking for a payment penalty should be unthinkable. There are many more important things the money can accomplish.

Think about the amount of money it would be to accomplish this. Then the problem is who will receive this money and how much? Then another agency will be formed to research this and dispense the money. In the meanwhile, the infrastructure, the economy, and a myriad of other things suffer from lack of attention and money. This is something that could have and should have been done in the 1800’s, not 200 years later.

Looking back is great and people can learn and progress from it. All that is needed is common sense, of which some people lack. Some people use looking back to gain attention while others jump onto the bandwagon hoping to gain some attention for themselves for selfish reasons. Let us all look back, learn from it, use it for purposeful things and then move on. Life is short. Wasting time on things that does not accomplish anything, but headlines, should be looked at harder.

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School Problems

I have heard the numerous candidates for President of the United States concerning our schools. I have heard and seen what the present administration is doing for our schools. Depending on the locality, parental and community income and federal help, shows the condition of the buildings and study material used in that school system.

I saw an article on Facebook (re-posted by a friend) that made me think about my childhood schooling. Paraphrasing, the article talked about children going to school with shoes that cost more than the teacher’s clothing, but the children does not have enough money to buy notebooks to help themselves in classwork. The children will pitch a fit for not having a two-hundred-dollar pair of shoes for school but do not worry about getting a two dollar note book for a class.

When I was in school, I seldom had new clothes for school, but I did have the necessary material that made learning easier. Getting class material was the priority. Most of my classmates were in the same boat, but we learned and did not fret. No, I do not come from rural America. I come from the city and never, if ever, thought about what I wore. I remember, all I thought about is learning for the upcoming tests and whether I studied hard enough.

Money is spent for ultra-modern schools, décor for the campuses, and not so much on the learning. Today, most children think about socializing and dress. I remember bringing home, each day, all my school books because I had homework to do for each class. After at home chores, I had hours of homework, including weekends. I had pop quizzes on, not only what is learned in class that day, but what was learned a while ago. That is not done today, so I am told.

My parents made sure I was prepared and enforced it. They did not condone skipping school, acting up in class, bringing home anything less than above average nor did they condone not bringing home my books and not doing my homework. They encouraged doing more than is required and attended all parent-teacher conferences to see that I was doing the schoolwork and my deportment.

The teacher was always right unless proven, without a doubt, they were out of order. Today, the child seems to be the adult and must be given what they want, and they are the ones that are right. It seems the child knows what is better for themselves. If they know as much as they think they do, maybe they should be the teacher. Maybe they should get a job and get their own two-hundred-dollar shoes, or pants, or dress, etc. Maybe they should be their own keeper and we, as adults, sit back and relax.

Yes, I agree the school system need more and better schools. But, at the same time, parents need to control their children, teach their children values at home and the children need to learn much more and socialize less. Too many things have been dummied down to satisfy the child. In some homes, it seems as though the child rules. Nothing in this world is given freely or easily. It takes a long time in continuous learning and then it takes a little more. I learn something new almost every day and I am an old man. I don’t know everything and there is always someone that know more than I. These are just my thoughts on the subject. I guess I am old fashion and need to (as I am told) come into the twenty-first century. If so, we will always have a school-teacher-child problem.

 

Reunion 2018

This month have been an exciting month, to to say the least, I will make this short by hitting the highlights. For those that read my blog, which is written every other week, I did not write one the week before last. My wife and I was in Orlando, Florida for the family reunion that is every two years at a different location with a different theme each time. This was the fifth family reunion and it was a lot of fun, games and food.

There is a lot to see and do in Orlando with not enough time to do either. It is great to see and talk to members of the family that haven’t been seen nor talked to in the past two years. To acquaint oneself with the going on and happenings with the other, out of state, members of the family and to just have fun to boot was great. After seeing helicopter tours all over the place I decided to take a couple of the younger male members on their first flight in a helicopter, they loved it. We flew over Disney World, the surrounding areas and back. Well worth my money to see the area from the air and the smiles on their faces.

The welcoming event, picnic and costume banquet was great, as always. I believe we outdid the last one which was in Lancaster, Pa. For the welcoming event, the first day, we all wore the last reunion tee shirts and, of course, for the picnic we wore this year’s tee shirt with the extended family names on the back. For the banquet each branch of the family wore a Disney character costume with prizes given for whoever was considered the best. My wife wore Tinker Bell and I wore Peter Pan but we didn’t win.

Many families rented houses (two or three families to a house) to stay in for the reunion, with members of the family coming together to cook, eat and party well into the wee-hours of the morning just to start the day over again. Life is beautiful and filled with fun. As always, all good things must come to an end. We were with children, grand children, great grand children, cousins and very close friends. It was really great to see all of them and make plans for year 2020.

Upon returning to Richmond, we stayed overnight with my wife’s sister before returning to Virginia Beach. It was nice to be back in the Capitol City again and I made a last doctor’s appointment while there. Coming back to Virginia Beach, I finally made the transfer to the Veteran’s Hospital in Hampton. Now I can concentrate on making plans for the Hahn AB, Germany reunion that will be held in California next year. My wife have never been to California but I was stationed at a base in the state in the 60’s. It will be great to see old friends that I used to supervise and those that have supervised me. We also have two or three more trips for the remainder of this year, I can hardly wait. A lot to look forward to.

Who say senior’s are too old to travel and have fun? All it take is a willingness to want to do it and go out and do it. Life is too short to let time and things pass by. Like the commercial say “Just Do It”.

Rehash

Yes, I will rehash some old gripes and for good reason. Only a portion of the problems have been corrected and I don’t think most of the other problems will ever be. Reason being that the problems are with the residents. If they would only do the things that they should as if they had pride in this place and themselves. This is not the project housing area and it is not a rundown section of the city. For the amount of money they pay each month to be here it seems as though they would want to keep this place as clean and beautiful as possible. But, they don’t.

I guess you are saying ‘what’s wrong now’ and I am here to blow off a little more steam, vent is another way of putting it. Dog droppings everywhere, trash scattered all over the grounds and, of those that are still driving, they and/or their guests are speeding like there is no speed limit here. Now that I have vented on that subject again, I will move on.

Ron is back. Welcome back Ron (Activities Dept.) and we all are glad to have you back, all healed from your accident and here’s wishing you and deer never meet again (LOL). Can’t wait to have you back on our next ROMEO trip and your dessert is on me.

Activities had a good trip to Maryland Live Casino and I did okay. Came back with what I took with me plus a little more. Not bad considering the last time I lost my shirt. Oh well, that’s the way of the casinos. I’ve often told people to only take as much money as you are willing to lose and leave the ATM alone.

After this holiday weekend, my wife and I are going on a Mystery Bus Tour (Tuesday) for four days and return (Friday night) to rest up for another upcoming getaway. I have no idea where we are going but I expect it to be full of fun. I am recharging my camera battery to have plenty of pictures and stories to tell. The trip should give me more ideas for stories to write with the hope of them being chosen by a publisher. I have my fingers crossed. As far as trips go, we have our next cruise (twelve days) and round trip train transportation paid for therefore we are ready to go in December. There’s a couple more short trips (not counting the casinos) coming up but I won’t mention them now. As it’s said, it’s subject to change.

It’s fun being retired and have the time and health to go wherever the wind takes you. When I was talking to Ron, he mentioned how he now realize how being retired would be. He could not work and had two months with nothing to do. That’s when we talked about how terrible it was (not counting boring) to just sit around with nothing to do and not being able to get out. Most people around here do just that and I just don’t understand it. I realize their age, however, there is so much to do here and ways to get out, even if you need a little help. But the majority of the people here just sit around and gripe about there’s nothing to do. When there is an event, trip or townhall meeting, they don’t show up and participate. They are seen later and when asked why they didn’t show up, all they say is they didn’t feel like it. There is, actually, too much to do. I can’t participate in everything but I try for what I have time for. Being retired is fun and full of adventure, simply because there is plenty of time to do it.

Well, that’s it from here. Wish all a very happy and fun filled Labor Day Weekend. I am also praying for those that are in Texas and will have to get their lives together again. I wish them all the best and my donation is in. Every little bit helps. Here’s asking everyone that read my postings to chip in also because the next time could be you.

Retirement Woes

Growing up, there was this unrealistic assumption that being retired was a goal to achieve in order to live the waning years of life in complete peace, tranquility and ease. Yet, as this age of life is finally here, the stark truth of retirement is realized and most of it is not entirely the way it was envisioned. Those that are not overly wealthy find daily worries, wondering about the amount left in an account after the last shopping trip and before another sum is credited into the account. With that, to some, not being enough worry, politics enter the picture. Most elderly people think politics does not overly concern elderly individuals because they have retirement money, social security money and other income, for some not all).

These monies are for housing (even if the house is paid there is maintenance, taxes and insurance), food and utilities (not counting clothing and mild entertainment). Then account for the insurance for any medical issue. Politics have a strong and lasting effect on all of this. As one catastrophic example, imagine a person depending on retirement money from a corporation. Then imagine politics forcing that corporation to declare bankruptcy. Now the corporation cease to exist and so goes the retirement money. And, in a domino effect, there goes the way of life for the retiree, that is if the retiree is not independently self sufficient. Also think about depending on work place health insurance. If you stop working, where does health insurance fit in?

As the political scene tease, change and outright stabs a person in their heart, the retiree, like me, wonders what will tomorrow bring. Will I have enough money for housing needs, food, medical care and, politicians don’t want to hear this, entertainment. Politicians have their way mapped out for them and they don’t worry about their future. We the people pay their way. People with money don’t worry because they have their life and they don’t worry or care about those without money. Sure, they give a little to this cause or that cause but for the most part it is only a drop of water in a very large bucket.

We all have to worry about our political scene as it is presented to us today not yesterday. We not only have to look at what is happening now but what will happen in the future when certain bills are passed and bestowed on us and our children. What hoops will our children have to jump thru to reach retirement (or will they be able to retire). The life of peace, tranquility and ease will be snatched away and replaced with doubt and angst.

I’ll throw one more wrench into the machinery and leave this train of thought alone for a while. Don’t believe being ex-federal (civilian or military) leaves you immune to all that is happening in politics. The politicians are attempting to not only put deep cuts into things non-federal but they are looking at the military (don’t believe everything that you have heard about the military), federal hospitals and everything else that is federal. It will be a little slower coming than the rest that is proposed but, if they have their way, it is coming. Everybody that does not have a large sum of money will be on shaky ground with no where to run. And remember one other thing, if you voted for the present administration, you either have what you wanted or you will get what you want. Oh well.

In closing, although this is not a woe, my wife and I, again, was able to enjoy an entertainment before cuts are made in my monies. Where did we go? The annual Hampton Jazz Festival in beautiful Hampton, Virginia. As usual, the artists this year were outstanding and, of course, I saw my favorite, Fantasia. The line-up look like this: (Friday Night) Jill Scott, Kem, Brian Culbertson, Gerald Albright & Jonathan Butler. (Saturday Night) The O’Jays, Fantasia, Anthony Hamilton, West Coast Jam featuring Richard Elliot, Norman Brown & Rick Braun. (Sunday Night) Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Patti LaBelle, Ramsey Lewis, Bobby “Blackhat” Walters. All of this was performed in the Hampton Coliseum and it was the 50th Anniversary for the festival.

This fall, across the street from the coliseum at the Convention Center, will be the annual Hampton Jazz Legion. We will be there also because, like I have said before, I love jazz and want to attend live performances. Both programs are always sold out well in advance and so are hotel spaces. In fact, people usually get tickets and hotels a year in advance of the performance.

Try to stay safe and cool. Have a great summer and be kind to others. See ya!!!

Coco Cay, Bahamas

I Am Retired

For the moment I will get back to talking about Imperial Plaza, not all of the happenings but as much as I dare for now. Since I have been here and have written about this place, I have found it quite intriguing, to say the least. Imperial Plaza have gone uphill, downhill and now uphill again. I was involved in some of it by being on committees but there have been some people that were quite radical about what they perceived as needing to be accomplished and how it should be accomplished. There is one or more that gives the perception of “my way or the highway”. There are others that will go so far as to jump the chain of command and go straight to the top.

In everything, like the government, there are parts of a problem that is not seen by the average person. In other words, the whole picture is not seen, therefore, the problem can not be solved as it is seen because one must first see the whole picture (the big circle…). There is always another element to look at unless you are at the top and definitely know the whole picture. Then, alas, there may be an element of that picture that is hiding something, for whatever reason, which makes the picture cloudy and a commendable resolution difficult if not impossible.

There are a few people at Imperial Plaza that come from a world where they are the boss and are used to people complying to their every whim but now they are into a world of retirement. They still have the mindset that when they say something, everyone must jump to do whatever it is without question. They also have it in their heads that they know the best way to do things only if they can get people to get on with the task they have alluded.

Since the previous head of Imperial Plaza got the boot (some say not), the new person have done a great job getting things moving without too much conflict and discontent. There is still a hic-up here and there but nothing is perfect and never will be. There was a large shift in the dining facility and the food and wait staff got to be pretty bad. With the new head chef and quite a few new wait staff, things are beginning to look up. I hope so because I have stopped eating there.

The one thing that have, on one hand, gotten stagnant and, on the other hand, gotten bad is the entertainment. I know most of the seniors want old music (thirties, forties and so on), but, it is always the same old thing. There are two or three bands that always come here and I can tell you the line up of the music. I know what tune is next, because there is very little deviation from that line up, and usually what comment the lead person will make. There is a very good man playing good music in the White Squirrel but he have been relegated to twice a month, he was playing every week for months. He would fill the place on Tuesday and everyone was eating, drinking and dancing. The new group that replaces him every other Tuesday does not take requests nor do they fill the place. Alas, you can’t fight city hall. It’s the dining facility’s lost and I keep my money in my pocket. I either stay in my apartment to eat and drink or I can go out to eat. My wife and I are mobile and I don’t care what we do for that day. There are always choices and I try to take advantage of them because I am retired and I’m not nailed down to do anything I don’t want to do.

I’ll stop here although there is so much more to talk about but I don’t want to make this too long and boring. I want to continue this at the next writing and go into other parts of what is going on as well as, hopefully, getting into my travels. As I said before, I am retired and I love writing, salt water fishing and traveling. As time permits, I’ll write something else soon. Be kind to your neighbors for you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. By the way, the photo is one of the jobs I retired from.

 

Eric_on_Night_patrol2-428x266

Parallel Thoughts

I am reading the book “Playing The Edge” authored by Michael V. Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and CIA as well as a retired Air Force four star General. I’ve only read about an eighth of the book so far, I’m purposely being slow as to really digest the material, and it is an inside look at political wranglings. He writes about how politics hampered the efficiency of the NSA and, later, the CIA. How, when everything is going good, there is a demand to cut personnel, work and money. However, when things are bad the question becomes an accusation about why the job wasn’t done and why there wasn’t enough personnel to do the job. Also, from Congressmen, “it wasn’t me that hampered you. It was the person here before me.” Plus, it’s always to get the job done with less and less until the mess hits the proverbial fan.

In a way, so far, certain words in the book can be replaced with words meaning Brookdale Imperial Plaza. A lot of the same thing has happened and is happening here. There is always the undercurrent of activity that causes things to go awry in that psychotic way. There are always people that overtly try to control the system and there are those that attempt (and they have been pretty good at it lately) to covertly control the system to their way of thought and/or idiosyncrasy. Many, many things come into play in order to control the multitude of jobs to be performed at a large place such as Brookdale Imperial Plaza. Those that attempt to have it their own little way and/or think they see or know the entire picture have a lot to learn and, really, if they only knew. They don’t have any idea about how to run a place such as this and it can not/will not run the cut and dry traditional way.

There are budgets, staff, headquarters, residents and unforeseen catastrophes that plays havoc with the little money and personnel available. Now all is done and up pops that individual or individuals with their own agenda(s) that slows everything to a crawl. Constructive criticism is welcomed everywhere but when there is always destructive criticism, the house starts swaying like an unsteady house of cards.

Yes, I have my own agenda and that is to stay retired, travel and live in peace. I’ll leave the administration of Imperial Plaza to those that get paid to run it. Of course, if something doesn’t seem right, I will voice my disapproval and opinion. Only if it is catastrophic and then I’ll have to think about it. However, I will not attempt to micromanage a place I am not paid to manage or work. When I was in control of my own thing (military and civilian) I never micromanaged anyway. Why should I now? I found that to be counterproductive early own and have lived by it. If there is a good person or people in place to do the job right and there is trust in them to do it without supervision, there is no problem. Most problems are handled without you intervening and you are free to do your thing.

I guess I am being cynical because things that are happening is not affecting me. However, am I my brother’s keeper? In this case, no. Myself nor my wife is adversely affected, therefore, why bother and get myself in a lather? What will it do for us? What will it do for anyone when I don’t have and will not have control over anything that is done at Imperial Plaza. Sure, there are committees but they can only advise, not dictate. And, these committees, well most of them anyway, try just that and have accomplished not a thing.

I say, sit back, relax and remain retired. Don’t stress yourself out and have a heart attack over something you can’t control. Leave politics alone, at Imperial Plaza anyway, and live a carefree life. Or, you can get back into the rat race, come out of retirement and offer your services to Brookdale. Maybe you may be hired to get the mess in order. Good Luck..

 Electrical Storm, Arizona