Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Robert A. Heinlein
I noticed weather reports predicting more cold and snow for most of the northern states of the United States. From what I recall of my earlier life in that country, this is rather normal for this time of year. Winter is cold and snow falls frequently. I remember snow covering the ground some years from November to March and many days off from school.
Unlike hockey players today, who are spoiled by artificial ice and indoor arenas, we hoped for cold to freeze the pond and feared snow, which had to be shoveled before we could play. I wonder if today’s youth is tough enough. I remember two Canadians arguing about players being coddled in indoor rinks. The conversation, in part, as follows:
First: "It’s not heated, so it’s just as cold as outside."
Second: "Maybe, but the don’t have to buck the wind."
My point is that winter is winter....except in Germany. We have had the warmest temperatures on record and no snow. Flowers are blooming and fruit trees are blossoming. No longer playing hockey, I prefer the milder winter. I do not miss shoveling snow. That said, I happy to sympathize with anyone needing sympathy.
Most car advertising is dumb, but a new winner must be crowned. A recently seen (I think it ran during the Super Bowl) Cadillac ad is the dumbest of the dumb. This is a non sequitur to end all non sequiturs. If this car was conceived in a garage, then it needs to stay there..with the door closed.
How I wish we lived in a time
when laws were not necessary to safeguard against discrimination.
The United States, that beacon of liberty and freedom, continues its slide towards being ranked with Uganda. From Salon:
“Fox News gets something right about anti-LGBTQ discrimination: “In Arizona, you can do that now” Tony Perkins is a bigot, but he's right about one thing: Discrimination is already the law of the land in Arizona”
I did not plan on ever returning to Arizona, but now I have an additional reason for that decision.
Of course, there are other states on the list...and the list seems to be growing. The country of my birth continues its journey in the wrong direction. People touting the Constitution seem to have not read this document. The most-overlooked item of the key documents of the nation is the bit about separation of church and state. Too many want the church to rule the land, not unlike in Muslim nations. They missed the irony in Bob Dylan’s song:
The reason for fighting / I never got straight / But I learned to accept it / Accept it with pride / For you don't count the dead / When God's on your side.
Going off on a tangent, this refrain will chime over the much-desired invasion of Iran. Of course, these fine folks do not recognize--or know--that both sides worship the same god. The problem is humans...
Of which, this is the prime example. This guy has proven to be an idiot. But, this has to be the most-ridiculous utterance to date, as found in Salon:
Glenn Beck supports anti-gay Arizona law because “freedom is ugly”. The right-wing media mogul says freedom can require letting some people oppress others
I guess that he does not understand freedom, which is proof of his stupidity. Perhaps more-stupid are the people that listen to this jerk...
But, this guy is a close second:
“Tucker Carlson: Making businesses serve gay customers is “fascism”. Does this mean Carlson thinks segregation is freedom? (Yes)”
There must be something in the Bible about a plague upon the land...
Note to self: stop reading Salon and watching Fox News!
Fortunately, there is still someone able to make humor from stupidity. That’s why I have been reading the New Yorker for decades.
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
There is a saying about blood being thicker than water. Although this makes little sense, I guess it means that relatives stick closer together than friends. History has proven that this is not always the case. One statistic that comes to mind is the number of murders and gunshot wounds of relatives in the United States.
This phrase came to mind when watching a trailer for a program on World War I. This is the one hundredth anniversary of a really big and stupid war (unlike some the more-recent small and stupid wars...which were big for all involved, but you get the point).
The word thick has different definitions. It can mean solid or viscous. It can also mean lacking intelligent or stupid. I pick the later definition to plug into the above saying about thick blood. The principle players in World War I were related. The King of England, the Kaiser of Germany, and the Tsar of Russia were first cousins. They had played together as children and met in later years. The wife of the Tsar was a German princess. The father of the King was German. Instead of sticking together, they squabbled and cost the lives of millions and led to the suffering of many millions. The Second World War is almost certainly a consequence of this thick (lacking intelligence) blood.
Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is.
The most important product of his effort is his own personality.
I read a New Yorker piece about someone taking an SAT test, who described the room in which the test was administered. On the classroom walls were various posters with sayings aimed at motivating students. One read:
If you aim for nowhere, that’s just where you’ll go.
I do not recall often ever “aiming” in life. I was aimless in school, which could be the reason my parents sent me to private school. Perhaps they saw potential, a concept I did not know. I excelled, but more due to competitive drive to beat my peers. I continued on to college, because that is what people did. Next, I went into the Army, because the government coerced me to play their games. I left the Army, because I did not want to spend my life doing that, which was kind of a negative aiming. I remained in Germany, because I had nowhere else I wanted to go. I entered advertising, because a job was available for a foreigner. Fortunately, the work interested me, but I never aimed for such a carrier. I moved to marketing, because I was offered a job. I never aimed for or dreamed of doing that, until it fell into my lap. I imagined that I would stop working some day, but that is not really aiming.
In conclusion, children, you don’t need to have dreams or aims to have a great life. A lot depends upon luck and timing, even if you must be well-prepared to take advantage of luck and willing to take risks involved with trying something new and unknown.
Motivational posters are interesting, but the words are not always wise.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.