The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category


It was February 7, 2013 and I sat down to write my more or less daily post.  My laptop and I exchanged blank stares at each other – it waiting for me to do something that would stimulate it into activity.  But as I sat there, all that went through my head was “white noise” – a tabula rasa where something clever should have been.  So I said to myself, “Self – you’ve written a lot and you’re entitled to a day off.”  So I took one.

I was no more stimulated the following day or the next.  I mean, with the failure of the Mayan Apocalypse to materialize, the world was as brain dead as ever and I guessed that I had joined the ranks of the Great Unthinking.

No matter how much I contorted myself, I just couldn’t squeeze out anything that I thought would be of interest to anyone – myself included.  So I decided to take a week off from blogging.  And I did.  If this was an example of writer’s block, I was the ultimate blockhead.

Armed with a week’s rest I was certain that my remaining 27 brain cells would have had sufficient time to recharge and get me going again.  However, I was feeling no more inspired than a week before and I thought that I should just go on a somewhat indefinite leave.  But I didn’t want any of those who were following this blog to worry about my physical well-being (I know some of you have concern for the state of my mental health), so I wrote up a nice post and scheduled it to be published a week later – thinking that just in case the Muse came to pay a call on me I could cancel it.

The Muse must have been on vacation because I wasn’t feeling any more insightful that week than the previous one – so I thought, I’ll get back to blogging when I’m feeling inspired again.  (And I’d covered my bases with the pre-scheduled explanation).

The only thing that went wrong with this plan – (I had never used Scheduler before) was that I forgot to push the button – which I only just discovered this afternoon.  OOPS!!!

My apologies to all those who have expressed concern.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your checking on me.  But I am alive and well and ready to spring back into action.  (That is in earnest after I cull through the 12,000 emails that have accumulated in my absence).

I hope all of you are well and I look forward to visiting with all of you very soon.


I decided to take a few weeks off from blogging.  There was simply too much noise in the ether – and there still is.  But I think the ultimate catalyst was an anonymous email I received.  The title was “Get 3500 channels of TV – FOR FREE!”

I have to be honest and tell my dear readers that I didn’t open it – although I stared at the message for about five minutes before hitting the delete key.

As I looked at the title of this unsolicited missive strange and bizarre thoughts began ruminating.  I began counting up the number of subjects with which I was familiar and the smaller number in which I had an interest.  I don’t think I made it very far past 30 when I was running out of ammo.

I mean has someone invented a television channel devoted to discussions of gall stones; or one that extolls the virtues of exemplary professional athletes; or is there now a chess channel?  I imagine that if these exist, there is a great deal of time that can be devoted to commercials – with which I am already overwhelmed.

Fortunately, for most of this time, I have been enjoying Gracie’s and the three golden retrievers’ company which has enabled me to maintain some sense of semblance and sanity.  But it was because of them that I am writing this post (and another ten or so to follow which I have been mulling around during my blogging absence).

The five of us were at the dog park a few mornings ago when we ran into our friends who gather in the wee hours, just after the park opens at six o’clock a.m.  After the kids took care of business, we merged into the gathering when I realized that the conversation had turned to a discussion of various ways that we could receive our television broadcasts.

One of the members of the group turned to me and asked, “Who do you use for your television service?”  I responded, “Right now I have Cox Cable – but I’m thinking about cancelling it after the election.”

“Oh, are you going to go with DISH Network?”

“No, actually, I’m seriously thinking about cancelling it and not replacing it with anything.”

Despite the fact that the park has grass, the lull that came over every member of the group was so profound that you could have heard the proverbial pin drop.  I have never seen a group of people who were so dumbstruck.  Apparently they felt that anyone who chose not to spend their life watching television was at worst a cretin and at best mentally impaired.  Because they are, by and large, a charitable group of people, I think they gave me the benefit of the doubt and put me in the second category.

I hope that none of my readers is too aghast at the concept that there is life beyond television.  Sure there are a few things I might miss – but I suspect I will have more time to discover new and far more valuable ones.  Books, music, nature and all sorts of other wonders in our wondrous world.

In the meanwhile I’ll just enjoy the tripe that bombards all of us (with special emphasis on the political ads).  That should keep my blood pressure at fever pitch and my dopamine levels at record lows.

Go ahead, call me crazy.  I know my friends at the park are thinking that anyway – and I kind of like the appellation.  But remember, “Just because you’re crazy doesn’t mean that you have to be stupid.”


When I first started on my blogging career (if you can call four months and two days long enough to be considered a career), I knew nothing about this amazing universe.  One of my neighbors mentioned that she had a blog – but I hoped it could be treated effectively with antibiotics and it would not have to be excised through surgery.  Such was my familiarity with this new world.

Well, I’ve made some progress.  From time to time I can get a photo stuck in one of my posts, although I only seem to be able to do that through Windows Live Writer and not directly in Word Press.  Yes, I admit to being technologically-challenged and am not so proud that when I realize I’m in over my head the common sense thing is to ask for help.


One of the other things that I didn’t know was the world of blogging had awards.  I learned this when a very kind gentleman, Eric Alagan (Written Words Never Die) nominated me for the 7 x 7 award.  This was so early on that I had not even compiled a list of other blogs that I wanted to follow – at least not seven of them.  So I put this aside until I could develop a list of fellow-bloggers whose work I wanted to share with all of you out there.

Well, I had my list of seven people finally but then I was trying to figure out how to “paste” the award in my blog – and where exactly I was supposed to place it.  I tried everything I could think of – even going to the extent of printing the page which carried the award, cutting the award into an appropriate size and pasting it on my laptop’s monitor.  I then pulled out the magic wand that I had purchased years ago from a sideshow wizard, waved it as I had been instructed and pronounced the magic formula which he had taught me.  Nothing happened.  But in all honesty, I’ve had problems with that wand ever since I got it.  I think it’s defective.

Compounding my problem I was nominated for yet a second award, this one called the Liebster Award.  This time it was “allaboutlemon” (a/k/a/ adollyciousirony) who did the nominating.  Again more efforts at pasting – but alas the same result as before.  In addition, one of the conditions of the award is to “link back” to allaboutlemon’s blog.  Oh, if I only knew how to do that.  My experience with linkage is limited to metal chains and breakfast sausage.

In the interim of receiving these awards I have attempted to get help from the friendly customer service people at Word Press.  There has been a problem with that as they assume that if you’re smart enough to have a blog you probably have an IQ that exceeds that of a kumquat.  (Sigh).  I’m sure that any fourth grader could answer my questions, but most of the kids in the neighborhood are further along than that and I don’t want to embarrass myself in front of them.  They think that I’m “cool” – and it would be wrong to dispel such childhood notions – even if they are based on sheer fantasy.

So if any of you knows how to and where to paste these awards and “link” to another blog, I would be greatly appreciative if you would let me know.  And I apologize to my two nominators for my delay in responding.  Now you know why.  If you do respond, please remember to use baby talk and speak slowly!

That’s the end of Help – Part I

Here’s Help – Part II

Every so often I get an idea.  Less frequently one of them is good.  But I have one that I’ve been incubating for awhile.  It’s an idea for a book – about cats.

I will admit that I am more prone to have canine companionship – but I have had several of the furry felines in my life.  They were very civilized and thought that they were dogs.

But back to the book.  I had been looking for a cartoonist with a whimsical artistic sense who could draw the two very special cats that I had created (mentally).  Sadly, none of the artists who submitted their work did much to impress me.  (And I impress fairly easily as anyone who can daub a canvass with splotches qualifies as an artist in my mind.  Can you say Jackson Pollock?)  So I tabled the idea for a few years and just decided to dust it off.

I was going to place an ad on Craig’s List when it hit me.  I had entered the world of blogging where there are some of the most creative, artistic and talented people I have ever met.  Why not throw this up to the blogging community to see who out there might have the ability, time and the interest.

I mean this could be big.  This could make that Pokémon thing look like last week’s corned beef hash.  I’ve already posted signs so that Disney can find the house and turn this into a blockbuster movie.  And all this in time for the Christmas season.  (Hopefully, the Mayans were wrong and there will be a Christmas season again this year). 

So if anyone out there is interested in collaborating on this project or at the least learning more about it, you have the email address.  I’d love to hear from you.

And thanks in advance for all the help I am sure I will receive from all you wonderful bloggers out there.


 I am just a babe in the woods at this whole blogging thing – having been at it for about six weeks now. I am the first to confess that I have struggled with all the gizmos and widgets and other features that WordPress has to offer. But I am slowly trying to acclimate to it all. (Slowly – ever so slowly). 

I did know that Google indexes these posts – as well as a jillion others items on the internet and I was interested to see whether I had yet made it to their hall of obscurity.

I had. 

What amazed me was that several posts were indexed within a minute or so of publishing them. I don’t know how they do it but they must have one darn big room filled with smoke and another filled with monstrous mirrors. 

I typed in my name as one word and, lo and behold, the Google system immediately came back with a total number of results. (I won’t tell you how embarrassingly small that number was in order to allow you a little fun on your own at my expense). 

But, being a curious soul, I wanted to put my unimportance in perspective. So I sat down and came up with a number of people and topics to get an idea of how they ranked (as measured by the number of Google results for each). I have listed them in ascending order: 

  1. Dodd-Frank Bill for the Reform of Wall Street and Consumer Protection. 13,700,000 results.

  2. Kardashians. 18,700,000 results.

  3. OBAMACARE. 21,700,000 results.

  4. OWS. 30,100,000 results.

  5. Justin Bieber. 662,000,000 results. 

For purposes of this post, I am going to categorize “results” as “interest”. That may not be totally accurate but, as I said earlier, I am new to this and that is how I interpret it. Please feel free to correct me as I am only too willing to learn. 

Given that context, there is 30.5 times as much “interest” in Justin Bieber than there is in OBAMACARE – the most comprehensive “healthcare reform” bill ever promulgated. 

And there is 48.32 times more “interest” in that young man than there is in Dodd-Frank – a law which most business executives cite as the reason that they are unwilling to hire – helping to keep our national unemployment rate at its present nose-bleed levels.

With Congressional approval ratings sinking to the depths of the bottomless pit and President Obama’s running a close second, it’s a shame that Mr. Bieber doesn’t meet the constitutional age requirements for either of those offices. 

Heck, I’d probably vote for him.



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