Monday, June 30, 2014

Ticks and Disease

A reminder to all parents, not only for yourselves, but for your kids too. A few years ago I was bitten by a deer tick and the result was Lyme disease. I have some cautions for you.

Check the kids daily everywhere and I mean everywhere, if you know what I mean. The little sucker that got me was no bigger than the head of pin, but he/she sure caused some big problems.

The headline would be. I have never felt that sick from any illness, disease, flu, cold, or bug that has a name in my life. The symptoms may vary from person to person, but mine started with a slight fever and then it went very quickly to total malaise, aches in every muscle and joint and a giant bulls-eye where the little tyke attached itself to my right arm on the back of the bicep.

I was expecting it to be Lyme disease, but I did not expect it to be so debilitating so quickly. I did get to the doctor as soon as the bulls-eye appeared and was on an antibiotic for several days.

In the northeast where I live the tick population this year is rampant. Most of us thought the cold winter would do them in, but apparently the heavy snow cover provided insulation and protected the little buggers.

There are other diseases the ticks carry so be vigilant.

Friday, June 27, 2014

July Memories

Here it is the weekend before the proverbial 4th of July and I’m thinking of youthful memories of the first two weeks in July.

My Dad always took the first two weeks in July as a vacation time and my folks booked a cabin on a lake in the Adirondacks. We did this three years starting when I was thirteen and until I was sixteen and then I got a job working at a wealthy family’s compound of several homes on the lake. My job was to chop wood and fill the kilning and woodbins throughout the compound. Each large home had at least four fireplaces and they used them each day. There are some very cold nights in the Adirondacks even in July and August.

As I think back, now in my seventies, I reflect on what I learned from that experience. It wasn’t all that pleasant. When you work for a very wealthy family, some of them will treat you kindly and with respect. Others will see you only as a servant and below their dignity for idle conversation. That was new to me. In the small city of 12-thousand where I grew up it seemed like everyone was equal. I guess that’s because we really didn’t have the mega-rich when I lived. It was mostly working class folks. Most families had a Ford or a Chevy. Some had a Buick and a few had a Cadillac. That’s how we knew who had the most money since the houses were fairly equal.

What I remember most of those youthful years was the peace we all felt. The Second World War was over by ten years. The Korean War was just over. Eisenhower was President. You could ride a bike without a helmut. The Cold War was developing with the USSR and we did fear a nuclear attack. Rock and Roll was the music. Elvis was big. Our entertainment, as teenagers in the summertime, was going to the movies, having a beach party or a sock-hop. The music was supplied by the 45 RPM’S we kids brought to the dance. Our parents either picked us up or we walked home.

I hope your memories of early July are just as profound and pleasant.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Aereo and the Broadcasters

Sometimes the universe offers us opportunities to extend our information to all people and sometimes we, or the Supreme Court, decide to keep the status quo.

They did so yesterday when they ruled against the video startup Aereo that maintains the norm for television viewers.

I’m a broadcaster. I made my living from broadcasting for over fifty years, but I’m still in favor of new ways to pass information and entertainment onto the general public. Cell phones, pads, and computers are the new way. It works, so there must be a way for broadcasters to be compensated for their content.

Aereo had a good idea, but nothing is free. Work it out and maybe everybody can make a little money.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Being Nosey

There are many things we don’t understand, and then there are some things that belie common sense and common decency. Why, for instance, do we seem to have an endless need to be voyeurs into other people lives, and sometimes even after they are dead.

All too often the tabloids get a hold of a sordid story and publish the alleged assignations and private life of some celebrity. Love affairs, romantic trysts, who loved whom. Who cares. Voyeur is a French name for a Peeping Tom. Can writing about it or reading about it in tabloid or book be less perverse than peeping?

It is the memory of personal good and public grace left behind by the icons of society that should be remembered, not their private choices that may be altered by gossip or greed. Do we see ourselves as better by peering into the prurient human failings of those we celebrate? Let the sins or faults, endemic to all of us, be forever buried with our bones. Remember only the good someone does for that will honor life, not defile it.

May the understanding of personal choices be acknowledged by the eternal Source of unconditional love and not vilified by those who are rudely nosy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Back In Iraq

I’ve got news for you, unless you already figured it out. Sending 300 Green Berets as advisors to Iraq is both taking sides and putting boots on the ground and in combat.

These guys and gals get combat pay, and they should and some of them will get wounded or worse.

Mr. President stop with the semantics. It’s time we call it what it is. We are back in Iraq in a combat role.

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