The Ignoble Experiment

From 1920 to 1933, America conducted its “Noble Experiment.” I’ve never been able to dig up a good reason for that moniker, yet every written piece on Prohibition in the United States makes that reference. It took over 2 years for the required number of states to approve the 18th Amendment banning the “manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors” but conspicuously not their consumption. On the back end, 10 months and 10 days were all that was needed to adopt the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition. (Fun facts, the two amendments in between both involve elections – sort of. The 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote (1933), and the 20th Amendment moved the inauguration of elected federal officials from March to January, and limited the President’s term in office to a maximum of 10 years (1935). Funner Fact, the 20th Amendment is the only amendment to the Constitution that has not be challenged in front of the Supreme Court of the United States.)

So why this history lesson? I’ve been struck by the similarities of what went on with alcohol then to what goes on with marijuana now. Although you may not realize it, and movies depicting life in the wild west might suggest otherwise, America wasn’t a drunken wasteland prior to Prohibition. Alcohol was a part of daily life and contributed to life’s problems, but not to the extent temperance supporters had suggested. The final push for Prohibition came not as a result on the revivalists activities but ostensibly to shift the use of grains to the manufacture of food verses drink during the first world war.  In fact, twelve states had already adopted prohibition laws before the 18th Amendment was out before Americans for ratification.

That doesn’t mean Prohibition was universally accepted. For a while, ten states refused to enforce prohibition laws after ratification, and Prohibition never did result in a total ban on alcohol. Sacramental and ritual wines were excluded and any individual could, on a physician’s order, buy up to 10 ounces of alcohol as often as every 10 days at a licensed pharmacy. (It is probably just coincidental that the Walgreen pharmacy chain grew from twenty stores to over 500 in the 1920s.  Breweries were permitted to manufacture and distribute “near beer” that contained less than 0.5% alcohol. Distilleries sold malt syrup and wineries grape concentrates with instructions for home dilution and fermentation. If the westerns depicting bawdy saloons were overly fanciful, movies featuring Prohibition era speakeasies may be have overly kind. Black market alcohol was estimated to be a $100 million business (equal to about $1.5 billion today).

The repeat of prohibition was strictly economic. Prohibition had cost the federal government $11 billion in tax revenue ($191 billion today). But the repeal was also not universally accepted. Several states maintain prohibition laws, the last, Mississippi, finally reversed its prohibition status in 1966. There are still to this day various counties in ten separate states that continue to ban the manufacture, sale, and distribution of alcohol.

Where are the comparisons to marijuana? There aren’t many except for a few million people clamoring for its legalization, states unevenly enforcing federal prohibition against it, local jurisdictions “decriminalizing” it, shyster shamans touting it as a medicinal, unregulated relative compounds sneaking their way into the marketplace, and states drooling over lost tax revenue that they never lost because they never had it in the first place.

You might assume from that last paragraph that I’m not a fan of legalizing marijuana. Yes and no. Are there medicinal benefits. There are indeed benefits of cannabinoids but not of the whole plant. And there are means to extract these cannabinoids, refine them, and compound them into consistently reproducible absorbable forms. And they are in fact already on the market and no I don’t mean CBD (although that has some limited use). For the rest of it. No. Alcohol and marijuana other are both addictive hallucinogens and any purported medicinal benefit from either is related to that. There is nothing that a bowl of marijuana will do that a shot of whiskey can’t. Except for one thing. I’ll explain it to you very simply.

Let’s say the two of us are sitting on my porch. I want a beer and you don’t. I drink the beer. Nothing happens to you.  You might have to listen to me sing the entire ABBA canon a cappella, but once we finish that you can get up and walk or drive home unimpaired. Let’s swap out a joint or a bowl for that can or bottle. Given enough time imbibing in your marijuana and I will be just as likely to test positive at the next random drug test on the job.

Don’t believe in passive absorption? Go ask a flight attendant with lung cancer who never smoked. But you better find one quick. There are a great many of them who will be among the 7,300 will die from passive smoke related lung cancer this year. Next year too. And so on and so on and so on.

Do we need another Noble Experiment? That’s not for me to decide. I’m not a legislator. Sort of like it shouldn’t be for a legislator to decide what makes for good medicine. Cheers.

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Your wealth is in your well-being

Someone finally hit it. The billion dollar plus Mega Millions lottery prize has been won. By one person. Or by one ticket. It could have been a pool of a couple dozen people each throwing $10 into a hat to maximize their odds. Or I suppose that technically would be to minimize their odds. I wasn’t one of them. Although my odds were just as good. I’ve written about it more than once. Everything in life is fifty-fifty. No long odds there. Either it will or it won’t. Either it doesn’t or it don’t. Pass or fail. True or false. That’s life.

But somebody’s coin did fall heads up, or tails down if you’d rather and they woke up Saturday morning at least $350 million richer. That’s about what they would get out of a billion dollar prize after taxes if they took the cash option. Of course from that they would have the fees they will undoubtedly incur when they hire the some bodies to advise them if they should take the cash or wait out the annuity payments, to rewrite their wills, trusts, and all the other legal things suddenly mega-rich people need, to find them suitable new houses (at least 3), cars (5), boats (2, maybe 3) and a plane (just one), to ghost write their book on how to become a billionaire and to represent their book and the movie rights, someone to see them “professionally” to deal with the psychological trauma of saying no to so many people who will be asking for money, and finally, the private security firms to keep people away so they can’t ask them for money. After all those expenses they will have at least a quarter billion left and will complain that everybody has a piece of their good fortune except them!

Since those earliest hours of Saturday morning when the announcement went out that there was a winner, pundits, professional and thems like me, have been churning out “ah, but the real wealth isn’t in dollars and diamonds, it is deep within you” articles. And you know what? They’re right! Oh I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor and believe me poor is a lot better. No, that’s not original. That line has been attributed to almost every rich person to walk down Hollywood Blvd. but it’s true. I have been both and on balance, I slept better richer. But I don’t know that I would say I was happier. I likely wasn’t although I was never billion dollar rich versus living in a cardboard box poor. I’m sure there it is difficult to convince someone they have all they need as long as they have love in their hearts when their bodies are living on the street. But on balance, you shouldn’t need a billion dollars, or even 250 million to be happy.

So for the several billion ticket buyers who did not win, please join me in saying, I have my health, clean water, food, clothes, and a roof over my head and I’m rich beyond my dreams. But boy, once I’d like to know what really rich rich feels like. Hmm, I understand the Power Ball is up around $170 million. That would work too!

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That’s what happiness is!

A couple days ago I was doing my housework and had just completed the vacuuming part of the dust and vacuum routine. I looked across the room as I was stowing the machine’s cord and broke out into a big smile. I might have broken out in song but if so I was singing subconsciously. If I was singing at all, I would have been singing along with the Ray Conniff Singers as they warbled they way through the 1966 Parnes and Evans composition, “Happiness Is,” for few things instigate as big a smile on my face as seeing those parallel tracks of the vacuum wheels across a newly cleaned carpet. I was struck so happy by the event, I actually remarked on it to a friend later in the day, questioning if she too experiences that odd joy. “No,” she literally deadpanned, “but the husband does. It must be a guy thing,” and dismissed the entire event as something only half the world could enjoy.

Eh. She’s probably right. In fact, vacuum tracks in carpets bring inordinate happiness to probably even less than half the world because I know for sure there are way more men who haven’t even pushed a vacuum around a living room to have seen such a remarkable sight. To them, an oil pan drain plug not leaking after a DIY oil change likely brings that profound happiness.  The point is, as Ray’s singers will have you singing along, happiness is “different things to different people!”

These aren’t the pillars of happiness: life, liberty, and the pursuit of really big, life changing events. These are the little things that are part of getting us from one hour to the next, the things that turn drudgery into if not joy, at least something faintly tolerable.

It won’t solve all of earth’s problems, but it is possible that if we spent more time enjoying what makes us happy and less time becoming frustrated when we can’t figure it why we aren’t as happy as others doing what makes them happy, or worse trying to foist our idea of happiness onto anyone else, we might all end up a little happier. And happier people are less likely to instigate world wars.

People are unique. Even people who grow up together, live together, and love together, don’t have to love everything about each other. Yes, it is the differences among people that make us collectively great, but it is appreciating the differences and encouraging others to pursue those differences that bring them happiness that make us collectively awesome!

Somewhere in your psyche is some quirk of life that brings you immense joy. Relish in the quirk and savor that joy. Don’t give it up for anybody and if somebody should ever admit to you that they get untold happiness from hearing the creak of a rocking chair, encourage them to creak all they want and hope they someday will encourage you to continue chasing your dream of parallel tracks on carpets, or whatever makes you smile at the enjoyment of living life. Because, that’s what happiness is.

What’s your happiness?

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Happiness Is


Blog Art (16)Did you stop by ROAMcare last week to read the meaning of life in five words. It’s worth the 3 minutes it takes to read the other 495 at www.roamcare.org. And check out the rest of our site too. Everything you need to refresh your enthusiasm for life with that extra motivation you need to push through the day! Stop by and visit, then share us with your friends and family!

Brain Dump – Again!

Welcome to a new edition of “Let’s clear those brain cells!” or “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”

IMG_2117Stay in your lane

Well, this fellow actually found his own lane to hang out in. I’m not sure what the laws in your state are but here, that much yellow paint in unmistakable diagonal lines means “no parking.”  This isn’t so bad. At least he isn’t parked in the diagonal blue lines next to a handicap space.  [sigh]

Shopping math, cyber edition

If you haven’t read any of my posts on toilet paper math, go there first. My daughter brought this one to my attention. So many discount, rebate, and coupon sites now are online, and all of them offer to find you the absolute best deal available – compared to regular posted prices. When you load multiple versions you are apt to find one offering you 5% of the regular price but only if you shop at the store with a coupon, another with 2% off the sale price but only if you shop online, or another offering free shipping but only if you buy it in magenta and are willing to answer a 45 question survey first. On a Tuesday. This all started when I mentioned I bought a new iPad last week from Amazon but I could have gotten the same deal at Target and saved 5% with their Red Card. I was all set to do that when it dawned on me that I was using a couple hundred dollars in gift cards that I had gotten by answering a variety of 45 question surveys and that beat 5% any day! [duh]

IMG_2029Old enough to drink

Last month my little car hit a milestone. It turned 21. Actually, It’s nearly 23 now but I don’t count the years before I adopted it. In honor of it’s birthday I had it retitled as a classic vehicle. As a classic I was able to negotiate a replacement price with my insurance company which is a good thing because given its condition, it’s worth more than 2-1/2 times the actual “blue book value.” Oddly enough, now that it is insured for 3 times what it was two months ago, the annual rate dropped by exactly half. I know the insurance company isn’t going to lose money on this deal. Hmm. I wonder if those guys ever took toilet paper math.

samsung-and-apple-logoBrand Disloyalty

I mentioned a few brain cells ago that I recently purchased a new iPad. It replaced a Samsung Galaxy tablet which itself replaced a Nook e-reader, which replaced a Bookman. (If you don’t recognize Bookman, you aren’t missing much. I don’t think it has been around since sometime in the 90s.) For some people, the thought of switching operating systems is absolutely unheard of. Families have been torn apart because someone dared stray from whatever everyone else had. Not me. I can flex. Right now I have an Apple phone and tablet, a Dell laptop and an HP desktop running Windows. The old tablet could mirror with the laptop but the desktop is so old it’s more of a paperweight right now and it only mirrors my reflection in its almost always darkened screen. It’s only the third desktop I’ve owned, the previous was a Gateway (wow, remember them!?) and before that, an Apple. Yes, in 1984 I bought my first Apple which was probably before some of the people who are running that company now were born. I doubt I’ll ever replace the desktop with another Apple. I doubt I’ll ever replace the desktop. When the laptop goes (and boy do they go – I can’t keep track of how many laptops I’ve had), I’ll figure out who has the best deal for what I want to use it for, of there are any deals available, and who has the best coupon code to use. But only after I review my post on toilet paper math.

That’s it for now. See you later!

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Blog Art (14)Did you stop by ROAMcare last week to read our take on “Special are those who plant trees knowing that they shall never sit in their shade,” the counterpoint to my post here last week? If you missed it, you can check it out now at www.roamcare.org. (Later this week we explain the meaning of life in five words! That posts Wednesday, July 20. You’ll want to read that one for sure!)

Mortgaging the future

Mortgaging the future. That’s a term now more often associated with sports. When a team’s general manager is willing to trade young players and prospects for an established star player who can help the team win right now, usually at trade deadline, usually with the hope that one roster addition means the difference between a championship and an also-ran season, he is said to have mortgaged the future of the team, knowingly trading away the two in the bush for a bird who might not eat out of his hand.

What got me thinking about giving away the farm for a chance at immediate fame and glory? It was a different blog for a different audience at a different site doing the final edits for this Wednesday’s post to be released on the ROAMcare site. That post has nothing to do with giving anything away, especially the future. Quite the opposite. I will share the teaser for it.

“We have a responsibility to prepare for the future even if we might not be here for it. We become truly great when we are willing to plan, prepare, act, and do that which will not benefit us. Are you ready for that?”

When you spend so much of your time always motivating you can, and I do get a little wacky now and then. It’s hard to be motivating without getting emotionally wrapped up in all that those topics touch. Perhaps we should be called emotionalvating authors and speakers! Anyway… I got to thinking. If we become great when we do something now when we know for sure it will not benefit us at all in the future, what do we become when we are willing to give up something we know we are guaranteed to have in our future for a few extra minutes of immediate gratification.

First, let us understand there are sometimes when it might be perfectly acceptable to trade something in the future for something in the now. For example, there might certainly have been some time in your life when you said, “I would give up anything to be able to [fill in the blank].” That might well be considered an altruistic approach to life. No, the type of trade off I am thinking of is more like, “I don’t care if I ever get to do that again if I can only have what I want right now.” And not even what I want right now and then have forever. Just for what I want right now. For another example, would you give up having contact with your entire family forever if you only could have an hour of somebody’s unwavering attention right now? Preposterous, you say? Nobody would ever do that?

Think about it. Isn’t that what an unfaithful spouse is gambling? The loss of a lifetime partner in exchange for an hour of physical bliss. What about the child who leaves home, swapping all the ups and downs of being a family to set out alone because “they won’t support my dream?” What about the addict, knowing they are an addict, but having to have that “one more bump even if it’s my last” and not caring if indeed it will be? These are far different than “I’d give anything to have one more dinner with my deceased parents.” These are, “He (or she) makes me so happy I don’t care if you don’t ever talk to me again” and really meaning it, which then more often then leads to “I’d give anything to have one more dinner with my not yet deceased parents.” And really meaning it.

Often the idea of giving up the future to satisfy the present really doesn’t mean giving up the future. Perhaps it means altering it a bit, but rarely do people truly mortgage their future. The otherwise never disgruntled employee who leaves a job because he “can’t believe they would promote that fool,” doesn’t leave without knowing he still has a talent he can sell, and he will still see his colleagues at meetings and conferences. He isn’t giving up anything.  But when that same person who says, “These few minutes with you mean everything in the world to me and I don’t care who knows it,” when he is not speaking to his wife and his wife knows it, and so does her lawyer, now he has mortgaged his future. The child who says to his parent, “If going to school across the country means I never see you again in my life, then I would rather never see you again in my life,” is mortgaging his future.

Have you ever wanted something so badly you would give anything (really, anything!) to get it? Have I? Had I? Is it possible we may have had done just that without realizing it? If you think about it, the people who would trade their futures, and presumably others’ happiness, to indulge themselves would seem to be pretty low on the “nice to be around” scale. But maybe at the moment we don’t realize that. They, or we, likely have many good qualities. They may enjoy professional success and the company of friends. Maybe it is only after discovering there could have been something more permanent, more committed, more faithful, that the question of “what brought me here?” is raised. Maybe they (we(?), I(?)) have traded the commitment of close companionship or the unconditional love of others for the attention of the few and immediate gratification and not yet realized it.

So, are there any good people who thrive on commitment and pure love? Yep, there are. They are the people willing to do now that something they will never get enjoyment from so others will benefit in their futures. I will be speaking of them in that other blog on Wednesday. It’s a better story than this one. Mark you calendar to go read it in a couple days.

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roamcare_logo-3If you haven’t had a chance to visit ROAMcare yet, stop by, refresh your enthusiasm and read our blogs, check out the Moments of Motivation, or just wander around the site. Everybody is always welcome.

Revisiting the Middle Seat

Back in July of 2020, July 9 to be exact, I published “The Middle Seat Hump Syndrome,” a clever little ditty if I say so myself wherein I compared the then fairly new encounter with the coronavirus, which we don’t even call it that any more. Toward the end of an honest to gosh true tale of summer family vacationing, I said with much assurance that we will all be fine in the long run. Guess what? I was right! Politicians, social media “experts” in-laws, naysayers, leftist, rightists, centrists all aside, I was right! We are pretty much okay as long as you don’t ask the 6.35 million people who lost their lives. Yes that number could have been smaller had we paid less attention to the politicians, social media “experts” in-laws, naysayers, leftist, rightists, but we’re stupid so we didn’t. Maybe next time we will.

Because today is the Fourth of July, which of course everybody knows is officially American Independence Day, and because the entire country is out there burning gas we don’t have to pursue their right to a family vacation, I thought I’d regale you again, with “The Middle Seat Hump Sydrome,” with that pesky typo corrected even!


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You need to be of a certain age to remember summer vacations in the family car with enough family that it filled all the seats, three across, and the middle seat made the leg room in coach on Delta look generous for there, right where your feet wanted to be, was “the hump,” the growth in the floorboard that rose nearly to seat level, to allow whatever it was that transferred the up and downs of the engine to the round and round of the rear wheels to make it’s way from the motor to the where the rubber met the road. I am of that age and had been on those vacations and I got that middle seat.

It wasn’t always like that. For a while there were just two of us in the back and we would each get out own window seats with plenty of room between for the picnic basket and cooler that were only opened at planned stops along the way. Then the third one came along. At first it wasn’t such a big deal. She started out in the baby seat in the middle of the front seat (yes, that’s where we put them when we used them back then). After she outgrew that space, she shifted to the back but because those short, stubby legs didn’t even make it off the seat, the hump was not impediment to her comfort. Eventually though, she grew and with that, so did the complaining. “I don’t want to sit on the hump!” And the word came from the front, “take turns.” From then on, whenever the car stopped, the back seat crowd reshuffled, and everyone got a turn being uncomfortable where we decidedly didn’t want to be.

That’s a little like what’s going on in the world now. Each time it appears to be stopping, or at least slowing enough to risk opening the door and get off this crazy ride, the virus comes back, and we have to reshuffle. Do we limit contact, should we close down again, does this mask make my nose look big? Regardless of the answer, some bodies are going to end up decidedly where they don’t want to be doing what they’d rather not be doing or not doing what they’d rather do. Think of the world as an early ’64 Chevrolet and were all taking turns sitting on the hump.

I’m going to spoil the ending for you. It all works out. Nobody was permanently damaged from sitting with a leg there and the other one there. We climbed out of the backseat a little stiff and a little sore but we made. We’ll make it through this also. Maybe a little worse for the wear after this ride that you are certain we got lost on because no way it should be taking this long, but eventually we are going to climb back out into the world.

Middle seat hump syndrome was never that horrible and may have been the inspiration for some future engineer to design SUVs with higher cabins that clear all those mechanical doodads or to shift the driving wheels to the front and obviate the need for a hump running down the middle if the cars interior. Along those same lines it could be someday we might even get to go out and not have to check that we have our masks with us. We just have to wait for the right expert to come up with the right solution. They are out there. There will find it.

In the meanwhile, Happy Motoring!


roamcare_logo-3If you haven’t had a chance to visit ROAMcare yet, stop by, refresh your enthusiasm and read our blogs, check out the Moments of Motivation, or just wander around the site. Everybody is always welcome.

Spreading Happiness

Some of my posts here on RRSB notwithstanding, I am a pretty happy person and I normally try to spready happiness wherever I am or whatever I do. Again, some recent RRSB posts notwithstanding. Just so I’m not the only one bearing the responsibility for the world’s happiness, I am calling on you to join in spreading happiness whenever and wherever you can. I even have some suggestions how to start. (Of course I do!)

If you should find yourself walking through a grocery store parking lot (or one of any mega-mart type shopping facility), do NOT walk down the center of the driving lane. Leave the spaces meant for cars to cars who might actually want to drive there. If you should find yourself walking through a parking lot with 3 of your closest friends or your children if all your friends are busy, do not walk four abreast. (This goes for inside the store also.) Making these small adjustments to your shopping walking style will spread much happiness – especially to who do it themselves when they are walking and now got a taste of what it’s like to be driving behind same.

If you should find yourself having just arrived at a gas station in your out-sized pickup truck that requires a small ladder to enter and exit, and having just arrived there at a high rate of speed, and having left your mini-monster truck idling so everyone can appreciate its deep basso rumble, do not complain about the price of gasoline. Better still, leave the testosterone reassurer at home and call on Uber or Lyft to run you to the store for your six pack. This will spread much happiness – particularly to those who recently refinanced their vehicles to afford gas your are guzzling.

If you should find yourself preparing to write a comment to post on Facebook about … well about anything, well … just don’t. This will spread much happiness – to everybody!

If you find yourself at the neighborhood pool, local swimming hole, water park, or anywhere where appearing half naked is acceptable outside of your own backyard and/or bathroom, and you find yourself having the urge to pick the lint out of your navel – PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T! That goes for self-pedicuring, ear wax removal, and performing the same procedures on others, including small children. This will spread much happiness – particularly to those with sense and sensibilities (and not just the kind you read).

HappyIf you find yourself at the neighborhood dive, local watering hole, or anywhere where karaoke is sung, unless you have a singing contract from a major record studio or 100% of the audience is drunk, including bartenders and the guy who sits outside the door trying to remember where he parked earlier in the evening, don’t be the first one up to sing. This will spread much happiness particularly to those wanting to sing but not wanting to be the first one up and them with an audible sigh of relief.

If you found yourself smiling at any of these, please like, comment, share, or talk about it over dinner tonight with a loved one or several. That will spread much happiness – particularly to me.


roamcare_logo-3If you haven’t had a chance to visit ROAMcare yet, stop by, refresh your enthusiasm and read our blogs, check out the Moments of Motivation, or just wander around the site. Everybody is always welcome.

Just because you can

Just because you can

Who’s with me on the “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” AKA “It seemed like a good idea” bandwagon? I guess you can also call these, “Who came up with this one” queries.

I’ll start.  I recently had to purchase a new microwave. For me to buy almost anything is a moment to be celebrated. Except for chocolate chip cookies at the bakery, I buy very little unless it is absolutely necessary. One could argue that a microwave oven does not top the list of necessities but others, especially those who tend to lose their coffee mugs and make repeated reheating visits to the appliance will confirm its necessary-ness.  With my sparse microwave purchase history you can be sure that the one being replaced didn’t have all the bells and whistles of today. In fact, its only bells and whistles were a bell that dinged when the timer was somewhere in the vicinity or ZERO and a whistle when it ran for more than 2 minutes at a stretch, probably from microwaves leaking into my space. I was surprised to see the power and timer dials had been replaced by a touch pad, but eventually I got the hang of it. One thing I was not expecting was it turning into a nag. Once a particular task is complete, it wants its recognition and it wants it NOW! If you aren’t quick to relieve the appliance of its load, it periodically, seemingly randomly periodically, will beep a shrill reminder that there is still food in its cavity. Like, chill man. I know there’s something in you. I’ll get to it. Who doesn’t remember they put something in the microwave and has to be reminded to come and get it? (Maybe its bell should be a dinner bell!) And then it dawned on me. Who doesn’t remember food? Stoners. What with all the state assemblies tripping over each other trying to prove politicians know more about medicine than doctors and passing medical (hah!) marijuana laws, not to mention the ones that figured out addicts will pay any amount of sales tax to get high, “stoner” is the latest addition to high school career day fairs. And these are certainly the people who would stick a bag of popcorn in a microwave and completely forget about it in 90 seconds.  Oh wow man.

My next “just because you can” is actually directed to those politicians and their wannabe rivals. Having just gone through the primary election campaign barrage of uninformative advertising and not looking forward to the general election version of same (which started on primary election night!), it seems our friendly neighborhood do-nothings have discovered text message advertising. I’ve gotten dozens of text messages a day, and almost all of them, after pummeling the opponent with more vitriol than a Hatfield spews at a McCoy and vice versa, would remind the reader, that they are on the side of the hard-working citizen. Um, Mr. POS, you realize some of those hard-working citizens actually have to pay for each incoming text? Duh.        

For my last trip down, “It seemed like a good idea” Avenue, I present me, or rather I present my shower head with a major assist by me. When I do buy something seemingly frivolous, like a handheld shower massage head, I want a good product. I research and find the one with a reasonable build quality that won’t pop its hose when I least expect it, which would be every time I use it. Now I’m not sure if it is fortunately or unfortunately, but the model I decided on has ten settings, everything from gentle mist to Niagara Falls. I don’t know the anybody needs that many choices to rinse shampoo out of one’s hair, but it had good reviews and strong connectors and I figured just because it has 10 settings doesn’t mean I have to use them all.  And I don’t, but somewhere along the way, probably during a fit of domesticity and extreme cleaning, the control unknowingly was set to Niagara. Oh my word!

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Do you have any examples you’d like to share? Please, if we get enough of them, maybe we can make a “Just Because You Can” calendar.  


roamcare_logo-3If you haven’t had a chance to visit ROAMcare yet, stop by, refresh your enthusiasm and read our blogs, check out the Moments of Motivation, or just wander around the site. Everybody is always welcome.

 

 

I Participated

I was working on a blog post for the foundation when a thought occurred to me. Let me give you some background. That post is about the carrots and the sticks we use on ourselves. It began with a package sent to a friend. When I asked a few days later what she thought of it she said that she hadn’t opening it but was saving it as a reward for herself when she completed a project she was working on. And there that post begins down the trail of why we incentivize our happiness with promises of work completed rather than the other way around. If you want to see how that ends, it will hit the ROAMcare website in a couple weeks. Until then, let me tell you some of the things I thought that I didn’t write.

You see, days went by, a week went by, then a week and some days went by and then project was not much nearer completion than before the first days that had gone by. The project ran into snags. Other work encroached. Another job came up. The package remained unopened.

Perhaps this is something we’ve learned along the way to becoming mature adults. As children we were likely subject to bargains such as “If you get ready for bed I’ll come in and read you a story,” or “You can have dessert when you eat all your vegetables.” As we got older, we may have heard, “You can get a driver’s license when you get better grades,” or “You can go to the dance when you can buy your own dress/suit/dancing shoes.” Even as adults we tell ourselves things like “I’ll take a break when I finish this order.” We’ve grown up with the enticement of a reward for completing a task.

The all wise and famous “They” say a mark of maturity is to be able to defer gratification. Another sign of maturity is unconditional respect for others. “They” don’t say what to do when the objectives conflict. If you decide you that you won’t make your favorite dessert until you complete a project and if the project completion Is delayed, only your joy is interrupted.  When another enters the equation is it fair to defer their gratification also, to take away their joy when they cannot assist on the side of the equation to improve the situation. Or is that when respect trumps deference.

The point of the blog that someday will appear on the ROAMcare site is that decision should never have to be made. We should not go through life bargaining with ourselves to be able to enjoy life.

image0There are still those who feel participation awards for children eliminates their sense of accomplishment when there are no winners or losers. The argument may be valid on a baseball diamond or tennis court, but not in life. In life, living is the reward. There is no part of life that is a reward for doing something. The reward is being able to do something because you have mastered how to enjoy life. When my life is over and I look back at what I have done, I will feel much better being able to say I participated and not worry so much much if I won.


If you haven’t had a chance to visit ROAMcare yet, stop by, refresh your enthusiasm and read our blogs or check out the Moments of Motivation archives. Everybody is always welcome,

A well regulated argument

I had a hard time debating with myself if I wanted to post this or not. It’s a topic that gets beaten to death so often you’d think it would be reasonable enough and just die but then, it’s not a reasonable topic. I also thought about putting out a “special” post last Friday because it was Gun Violence Awareness Day. But then I thought, the last thing you needed was me throwing in a nickel’s worth of my two cents on that day.

There is no doubt there is gun violence all over the place. Every week brings new mass shootings to the national news and local newscasts are filled with stories of shootings every day. In my greater metro area, between Friday and Sunday of this past weekend, four people lost their lives to gun violence and several others injured. There have been less than a handful of days a shooting hadn’t been reported here since a local mass shooting at an AirBnB party the night before Easter, including one when the victim was a one year old sitting in the back of a car targeted in a drive by shooting. If you’re not aware of the gun violence in the United States, then you’re really too stupid to be reading this.

So let’s summarize, all the people who think the Second Amendment gives you the right to own a gun, you’re wrong.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That was, is, and forever will be until its repeal, all the Second Amendment says. Nobody can deny you the possession of a weapon used to defend the STATE (i.e. the USA) if done so needed as a part of a REGULATED military effort). Considering we have a perfectly acceptable armed forces system now that was not in place in 1789, there is no longer a reason to guarantee anybody to right to maintain a weapon. But even if there was, the right is only protected when used to defend the country. Not to hunt, not to target shoot, not to defend oneself, not to forget you have it in your carryon bag at the airport, not to settle suburban hedge trimming disputes, and not to commit mass, or even single murder.

I am nothing if I cannot look at both sides, so let’s look. Gun control advocates point to the numbers, the most often quoted is that in the U. S. of A. in 2022, there were 45,222 gun related deaths (I don’t know why but that’s the last year the total is available). Gun advocates will say, “Woah, woah, woah. Over half of those were suicides.” And they are right. Fifty-four percent of the 45,000+ deaths, or about 24,000 were suicides. They don’t mention, but I will, that 2% (a little over 900). That leaves 43% or 19,455 people intentionally killed by another American presumably exercising his or her right to own a gun as part of a regulated militia to protect the country. That is over 19,000 people who were victims of gun violence.

The gun advocate will say that of those 45,222, almost 25,000 people were going to die anyway. (Maybe, maybe not, but let’s stick with saving the 19,000 for now.)  How does that compare. Forget deaths due to cancer, heart disease, train derailments, bad lettuce, or anything else not gun related. Let’s compare that to those who are participating in protecting the country in the modern well-regulated armed forces system. And let’s not just look at 2020. Let’s look at the entire twenty-first century to date. So far, in all armed conflicts since 2001, there have been 7,075 fatalities, about an average of 36 per year. That’s 18,964 LESS deaths due to defending the state in a well regulated military than deaths due to gun violence. Per year.

I could stop there but somebody is going to say, “But I just use my gun for hunting or target shooter or protecting my family. Not to randomly shoot somebody.” First, let’s ignore the protect your family argument because if you have a gun for protection and you are not planning on shooting somebody if you need protecting, then why do you have it? Then for the hunters and sportsmen (sportspeople?), you don’t need an assault rifle to shoot a deer, nor a 60 or 100 shot magazine to fire 20 times at a paper target. And really, you don’t need any ammunition at all until you’re ready to hunt or competitively shoot. I recall reading an argument to not regulate guns but, given that the Second Amendment is quiet on what you load into those arms, to ban ammunition. Maybe not such a horrible idea.

Consider this. For years, I shot skeet recreationally. (I’m not sure why because you just can’t make a good meal out of them, but even so … anyway) Every Sunday afternoon I could be found at the rod and gun club blasting clay pigeons into oblivion. I travelled to and from the club with my unloaded shot gun and at the club bought only the amount of ammunition I would use for the afternoon’s festivities and then go home with an unloaded shotgun. They say never to store you gun and ammunition in the same place. Mine were separated by about 15 miles. I’d call that safe and responsible.

It always amazes me when people toss around the word “Right” in their argument for … well, for anything. Gun rights, women’s rights, students’ rights, union rights … like they have a right to do whatever they please and find somewhere in the Constitution to defend it. And there are a lot of guaranteed rights in the US Constitution. But in each case there are also qualifiers and limitations. Rights are guaranteed. Unregulated license is not.  We are a nation obsessed with the Rights without bearing the Responsibilities.

Now I’m not going to say we should or should not repeat the Second Amendment, although I will say before anybody tries to use the Second Amendment as a justification for killing 19,000 people this year, they really need to see a good psychiatrist.

Sorry, no cute picture for this post. I couldn’t seem to put one together to celebrate so much death.