Tag Archives: USA

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.

 

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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.

 

Tomorrow Is Not Promised

A while ago I thought I had found true retirement and what it really felt like until I moved to Virginia Beach. My wife and I walked to the beach, she sat and got a lot of sun while I fished. Life is great and I will try to take full advantage of it with the little time I have left on this earth. Most people do not think about their age or that time is dear. Tomorrow is not promised, you can leave this world at any moment.

I never thought about that, I always lived as though I will be here forever. Then, one Sunday morning in 1971, while I was stationed in Germany, I had a massive stroke and awaken two weeks later. My right side, from head to toe, was paralyzed. I was given a fifty percent chance of having another stroke, a fifty percent chance of surviving another stroke and only ten more years to live. Well, I am still here and did not have another stroke. God is good and have given me a good life but tomorrow is not promised.

Today, like yesterday, I live one day at a time never forgetting that today or tomorrow could be my final day. For more than forty years I have reminded myself of this but I do not let it get me down or stop me from living life to it’s fullest, as much as I can. I also think about people that can not live life to it’s fullest or have the opportunity to even try.

It is a shame to be an American, to be a part of separating children from their parents. Yes, we all are guilty because we are the American that allowed the situation to happen in the first place and then let it come to a tragic point before opposition was voiced. The opposed should have made their voices heard from the beginning, not a week or two later. Although an order have been signed does not mean that this is over or it will not happen again.

How will the children be reunited with their parents when most can not tell their full names, parents full names, where they are from or any valuable information that will garner a possibility of reuniting them? It is a big mess the USA administration have made and they don’t show any sorrow for causing it. Mockery, laughter, snide remarks is all that is heard from the administration as well as blaming other politicians and/or the other party. Have anyone heard the majority leaders speak up yet?

We as seniors suppose to have the maturity to do the right thing, should not wait to see what happen but just do the right thing. Fall elections will be here shortly and the right thing must be done to get back onto the right track. We can then begin to allow people to live the life that we live. There is plenty of room for others, right beside me and you, and we all can ride this good life train together. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone therefore things must be set right today. Judgment could be today or tomorrow but whenever it come, and it will, it will be no use telling God that you meant no harm. You can see the harm and sorrow. You would not want to be treated this way nor have your children go through what the immigrant children are going through. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Do the right thing by loudly voicing disapproval, voting the right way and being an upstanding senior that will lead the younger generation in the right direction. Don’t quietly mumble you don’t like what’s happening, say it loud, also… Don’t believe it will get better on it’s own, it will not, believe me. Tomorrow is not promised nor the remainder of today.

 

Retirement vs Politics

Coco Cay, Bahamas

My blog is suppose to be about retirement/seniors but it is mostly political simply because of the toxic atmosphere caused by the present political personnel. However, do not take the political atmospheric conditions as meaning it does not have anything to do with retirees or their tranquil lives. The retiree’s life is anything but tranquil knowing the storms from hell are approaching (new laws or discontinued laws) and hidden dangers are everywhere. Us retirees are being cloaked from the true facts of the turmoil that is before us. There is an attempt to shield us from hearing facts, truths and seeing the cause and effect of political actions and utterances.

Because of these actions (a lot of inaction) we have been hoodwinked into believing that we are better than before and will be even better yet. Don’t be fooled, like the slight of hand, what you see is not really what you see. Some of the endeavors of our present government have come to fruition and the most of it does not look good. I will only list a tiny amount of things that have happened which have an affect on us seniors/retirees.

First, patient dumping. Employees were video recorded wheeling a patient wearing a hospital gown, socks and nothing else, to a bus stop in front of a hospital on a cold, windy night. They left the poor woman there. Don’t ask why. This have been going on for a while but people now believe it is okay because of the new administration. Another is the fact we have heads of agencies that are not qualified or have a conflict of interest because they are either against the agency they head or have had opposing dealings before. One fact in point, a woman heads an agency but now is backing a company to do contract work which have a direct money deal with her. Our tax money at work, straight to her pocket. The rich get richer and us poor people get poorer. One last point is how we teach our children, grandchildren about the brashness of using vulgar language. How to respect other people, no matter where they are from or who they are. Not so for our President. He teach the usage of vulgar language and racist disrespect. So goes the President, so goes the USA. Don’t listen to grandpa or grandma, the President will show you and tell you the way to do it.

I am only saying one thing. Just because you are older now and think politics is a piece of the past, a thing you used to dabble in, think again. When your grand-kids tell you to ****. The President did it first. When you go to the hospital and your co-pay is more than you can afford and you get put out into the cold, the President said it is okay. When your roads and bridges or whatever is in disrepair but your tax bill keep getting higher, remember the President put that incompetent person in charge.

Politics is something we all should have a say about and keep saying it loudly. Because you are retired does not mean you give up on your rights or give up on life.

Lastly, I recently attended a commemoration of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. There were many non-residents in attendance in the Imperial Plaza’s auditorium which contrasted the poor turn out of the Imperial Plaza’s residents. There is a large Black community among the four buildings but, as usual, there was a very poor turnout of Black people for the program. The Black Mayor (Richmond) and Black Police Chief (Richmond) was in attendance and spoke to many people. Many Army personnel from Fort Lee were there and that reminded me that many people don’t realize a Black History fact. Afro-Americans have participated in every war and/or conflict there ever was in and for the USA including The Revolutionary War and both sides of The Civil War.

I have been getting a lot of hits and followers on this blog but, in case you don’t know, I have another blog at www.faithingodministries.net Hope you will also read and enjoy that blog. Let me know.

Cold, Cold, Cold

Here’s to hoping everyone is keeping warm during his beginning of 2018. For those that are not on the east coast of the USA or have not heard of the east coast cold snap, let me tell you about the cold. I heard a joke that will tell you…It is so cold that the US Congressmen does not have their hands in our pockets, they have their hands in their own pockets…I was stationed at two air force bases that, in the winter, was this cold, one was much colder. With the temperature being this cold here, Minot, ND is much colder than when I was there. The normal temperature there, during this time of year, is normally -30 without the wind. I would guess it is colder now than when I was there. The other base was Pease, AFB, NH.

I was also thinking about how this little bit of snow, with the wind and cold, stopped everything. I have been stationed at three snowy bases. Two in the USA and one in Europe. All three places got much more snow than here and the roads were never scraped to the bare pavement, nothing stopped, life went on. Here, one inch stops everything. There are times that a half inch will close everything. Schools will shut down when they hear snow is probable. My daughter was in high school when I was stationed in North Dakota, I don’t recall her missing a day of school because of snow, wind or cold. In fact, every year she wore a snow suit while going door to door for Halloween.

I don’t enjoy the cold. Never have, never will but I just deal with it, I go on. I also look at it another way because of what I was told by a German farmer. He said we need a week or more of a deep winter freeze to kill buried bug larvae in order for us not to be overrun by bugs when spring finally get here. I can understand that and appreciate it also. Let it freeze, let it freeze, let it freeze.

But, don’t be in a Blue Funk, Spring will soon be here. When spring arrive, so will the rain, melting snow from the mountains causing floods. Next come the heat and hurricanes. Every year is the same. Some years fewer of it all, some years there is more. Can’t fight Mother Nature, don’t try. Life goes on, this will come about each year.

Being a senior and retired let a person reminisce of the years of yore. Some young people (I really want to say ‘most’) believe they know or have seen or experienced everything. I secretly laugh at them, they only have to wait a little longer and things they have never thought about will come to fruition. Seniors may not, at times, be wiser but they certainly have been through much more. Being a senior and retired really mean you are close to the end but it also mean you have so much knowledge to pass on and stories to relay. If only someone will listen. It’s cold. Let me go back to reminiscing.

Fun, Fun, Fun

In the waning years of life, a senior should experience the pleasures that long, hard labor is all about. A senior should get off their “duff” and go places, do things that they did not have the time to do as they worked during their younger years. As it have been said during days of old and is still said today, “you only live once”, or another way, “you only have one life”.

My wife and I are trying to have the best time of our lives because tomorrow is not promised and, with the kids having their own life and finances, we worked for it and now we will have fun, spend it anyway we want. Many people will call this selfish but I call it enjoying life as a retiree and when the kids become a senior, they will have their time.

The last couple of weeks have been nothing but fun and travel, not necessarily in that order. We were on a wine tasting in the Blue Ridge with the Imperial Plaza family, good food in Charlottesville, Va. afterward. It was great because a good friend (we were in the military together) ate with us. This friend and I met in the ’70’s and have been friends since.

A few days later, my wife and I went on a Sunshine Bus Tours trip from Richmond, Va. to Dover Downs, Delaware for a day and night of casino fun. I didn’t win much but had fun and was ready for the next stop which was Foxwood Casinos/Resort in Connecticut. Two nights and days of running through the many casinos and three huge hotels plus the outlet mall (all under one roof). We didn’t have time to go off site to the other casinos like we have done the last two times nor did we go into Newport, RI. Plenty of fun and we both won a little.

After we returned the next day (last night) there was the Halloween Costume Party here at Brookdale Imperial Plaza. Fun, fun and more fun, music, food and wine. My wife and I won best costumes as I was Mark Anthony and she was Cleopatra. The place was full; lots of fun and laughter. Later that same evening we met friends at a Mexican restaurant/bar to continue the fun. It’s great being a senior, being able to let your hair down, never worrying about tomorrow. More seniors should indulge and let it all hang out.

Today is a rest day because tomorrow starts anew. All next week is filled with something to do and the next experience. The week after next is filled with even more things than next week plus there is the election, not only for governor, etc. for the state of Virginia but I am running for a seat on the Resident Council at Imperial Plaza. Wish me luck.

Thinking about elections. All of you that have elections in your community, vote. Remember, people all over the world won elections that they shouldn’t have because people that could vote didn’t. Don’t say it’s only a minor election and it doesn’t matter whether you vote or not. That’s the reason we are in a mess here in the USA. I could name many countries that is in the same situation but I will not do so at this time. Vote, vote, vote and give this nation, this world, a chance. Those of you that read my religious blog (faithingodministries.net) understand what I mean.

Until the next time have fun, smile and keep on keeping on.

 

 

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.