My Followers…..


I am sad to say that you won’t be seeing me for a while. Thanks to the problems that I am having finding work I will be temporarily offline. Until I can come up with the money, my internet/cable will be disconnected as of 04-13-13. Right now, we owe $201.71, so it may be a while before I can come back and harp some more about the stupidity in the world.

Until the day of my return, I hope that you will continue to share my blog with your friends, family, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, bosses, politicians or the next stranger you meet.

I will miss you greatly and hope that I don’t lose any of you during this time of desperation.

Thank you for joining me in protesting stupidity.

Please feel free to continue using the OHS (Hypocrites Anonymous) page for group therapy sessions.

Big Hugs to all.

PS: I am setting my blog up to accept all comments without a moderator, so please keep the fighting to a minimum. Thank you.

Overseas Charities????


Why do we send money to charities overseas?

If you are one of those that feel sorry for the downtrodden of other countries, I understand.  You see the poor hungry children posted up on the TV, starving to the point of emaciation and think “Oh that poor child!” Then they blast you with the “It only takes a few cents a day, no more than it would cost for a cup of coffee, to help this child.” I understand that it can be difficult to look at that and not want to help. Really, I do understand.

But, if you send money overseas, you have absolutely no guarantees that it will be used the way they promise. Even if the charity does use it for food, fresh water, etc., they have no way of stopping the government of that particular country from stealing the food/equipment at gunpoint for its own needs. You also take the risk of your money being sent to help fund terrorist groups in a completely different country.

What I don’t understand is why you don’t feel sorry for the downtrodden right in your own neighborhood, city, county, state or country? What is so hard about looking for those that are in need near where you live?

It’s not like there aren’t enough charities here in the USA that could use the help. Shoot, if we just put the same money into our domestic charities then I seriously doubt that we would have hungry/homeless children, hungry/homeless military vets, etc.

At least here in the US you can check up on where your money went, who benefitted from it and when it was used. If you find out that your money was being abused, then you have legal recourse to punish the person(s) responsible.

Also, it wouldn’t cost you any more than the same amount of money and you could make the donation either anonymously or in person (saving the cost of the stamp/transfer fee). You could meet the people that you are helping and learn about them and their situation. You could even meet other people that are busting their butts to help in a more direct way, such as running the soup kitchens/food banks. Shoot, you could always spend that money on yarn or cloth and make hats, scarves, or other clothing for direct donations. This would actually last longer than just cash or food. And, the person that received the item you made would know that you take your donation seriously enough to spend your hard earned free time on making something just for them, instead of just feeling sorry enough to make a monetary donation.

You could even take the time to teach someone something that you are very good at doing. Taking the time to show a person how to sew, crochet, cook, budget money, woodwork, beadwork, jewelry making, typing, reading, organizing, painting (fine art/household), drawing (fine art/architectural), leatherworking, metalworking, welding, or anything else that you know how to do, will actually help that person create a job niche for themselves. Not only do you feel good, but you help raise that person’s self esteem and take one more person off the needy list. And it wouldn’t be a handout. It would actually be a hand up. This is actually what most people want.

Granted, there are people out there that just want someone else to feed, house and clothe them without having to do anything for themselves. These people are obvious, but cannot (at this time, with our current social beliefs) be left out. Telling them that they are not living the life that they could be is not going to work. They are living the way they want to right now. That could change later on, but in most cases it takes a major crisis for them to decide differently. Usually they are addicts or victims of abuse that have just plain given up because life has become too difficult for them to deal with.

Also granted is that there are people out there that abuse their positions of authority in the charity. This can be overcome. All it takes is one person that is willing to step up and report their activities/crimes. We do not have enough people in this day and age that are willing and able to do this. No one wants to get involved. Or they don’t want to look like the bad person “trying to pull down the program”. Or they are afraid that the program/charity will be shut down.

Buck up! If some over-achiever politician shuts it down because of one person’s screw up, then get with the others and start up your own program/charity. Yes, this could take time to get going, but at least you will know that you are doing your best to help those who could really use the program.

It basically comes down to this:

STOP FEEDING OUR MONEY INTO OTHER COUNTRIES WHEN YOUR OWN COUNTRY CAN USE ALL THE HELP YOU ARE WILLING TO GIVE!!!!!

Legalizing Drugs – Yes or No?


This blog was inspired by John Raymond. (Thanks John!)

 

What would happen if the U.S. legalized drugs?

Well, there would definitely be a meteoric rise in drug use (duh), theft, unemployment, more theft, increased number of emergency calls, more theft, higher insurance rates (both business and individual), more car wrecks, more domestic violence, more rape, etc, etc, etc.

Obviously this would not be a good thing.

However, is there a way to legalize drugs AND minimize the afore-mentioned issues? Let’s take a look, shall we?

For the sake of argument, we will be legalizing all of them. Otherwise this blog would get way too long to read in one sitting. So, all drugs are legal. Great! Now what?

There would have to be special companies that manufactured these drugs. Some companies would be general, manufacturing a wide range of drugs. Other companies would be specialists, dealing only with one or two types of drugs. Of course they would be the ones to determine how much product per individual unit would be salable. Similar to how cigarettes are packaged. Granted, this would only work for drugs like pot or other leaf-type drugs. I am sure that making individual packets and then grouping them in larger packages could work for the other drugs, but I am not going to get all that specific since I am not an expert in this field. These companies would also be the ones to set the price of the drugs. Obviously this would be based on the cost of growing, chemicals needed, machinery, taxes, special licensing, special employee certification, insurance, security and man-hours. This could get pricey.

Then there would have to be the distribution system. Again, this would involve machinery, insurance, taxes, special licensing, special employee certification, security and man-hours. Fortunately, there are already companies that are set up for distribution in general. Again, this could get pricey.

On top of the previous two points, there would need to be wholesale and retail outlets. I mean, c’mon, you can’t just make a drop at the local grocery store or set up a vending machine outside the library. Get real. You would once again have to have wholesale agents and retail stores that had the proper machinery, special licensing, special employee certifications, insurance, taxes, security and man-hours. Once again, this could get pricey.

So, now we move over to federal, state, county and city government involvement. Since everything else is regulated to a fare-thee-well, then drugs would be no different. As we saw in the previous paragraphs, this entire industry would require special licensing, employee certification, insurance and, oh happy days, taxing. Based on previous history, each level of government is going to want their own piece of the pie. The biggest question to be answered is….”how high can we set the fees and taxes, but still get companies and people to pay?” I will let you decide what you think would be a fair tax.

Another form of regulation is most definitely an age limit. I mean, if you’re willing to tell our kids that they’re not old enough to drink, but they’re old enough to kill for our country, then you might as well tick them off with drugs, also. Say, make the age limit the same as for alcohol.

Now, if we add everything up, we have lots of new companies (in addition to the pharmaceutical companies), lots of new jobs, and lots of new taxes and fees. Sounds great, right? Not quite.

Remember all the regulation, certifications, etc? How would you go about deciding who is a legitimate company? You don’t want just any Tom, Dick or Harry starting up a pot field or even a hydroponic pot farm in their basement or the nearest abandoned warehouse. And you definitely don’t want some unscrupulous gangster that is going to “boost” sales by dosing a slower addictive drug with a faster addicting drug. Not to mention making sure that the employees are protected from the same unscrupulous companies or gangsters that would intentionally get their employees addicted and make them work for their next “hit”. In addition, you would have to set up some type of guideline (adjustable per company) to protect these budding entrepreneurs from their own employees. This would definitely be some form of weeding (forgive the pun) out those job seekers who are addicts trying to get hired just for access to the drugs.  And then there is the insurance. Woe to the company that doesn’t have protection from natural disasters, theft, medical (yikes!) or lawsuits from unhappy family members of the addict. Hoo boy, there’s a whole ‘nother zebra. Better put that in with the government regulation section. Definitely need to put that under the common sense laws that are supposed to be in existence. Otherwise, the legal costs would skyrocket. And all of that lovely tax money would go down the drain.

So there are just a few of the pros and cons of legalizing drugs. I have my own opinion on how to do this. As if you didn’t know that.

First, the government would run everything from manufacturing to distributing to sales. Anyone that worked in this field would be a government employee, with all of the benefits and detriments involved. That way, full federal regulation would be involved and enforced. This would include how much and how often a person could purchase their “fix”.

Second, anyone that decided that they were going to get on the drug band wagon would have to be part of a government study that involved full medical check-ups on a regular basis (say every two weeks), could only get the drugs from a government facility and if it required injections, then they would have to go to a government medical officer to receive the injection. They would also have to sign a waiver of liability, accepting responsibility for their own safety up to and including death.

Third, anyone entering into the addiction world would have to get a divorce, give up any children in their custody and be sterilized to prevent future pregnancies due to poor judgment. This includes men. If said person does not have any known children, then they would have to donate sperm or eggs prior to beginning their addiction. This way, if they decide later on that they want to get off the drugs, they will still be able to have a child. Also, said addict will be given condoms to prevent the spreading of STD.

Fourth, each “client” would have to show a current paystub each time they came in for their “fix”. In other words, they would still have to be a productive citizen. Now don’t get me wrong. I know that addicts are not the world’s greatest workers, but they are capable of doing all of the “shit” jobs that no one else wants to do. Unfortunately, this would most likely push out the migratory crop workers (usually seasonal and usually from other countries) and other similar workers, but it would most likely reduce the number of people wanting to get hooked.

Fifth, the “client” would have to live in a segregated community with other “clients”. These communities could range from individual military style housing to studio apartments, depending on what would be most cost-effective. The important thing is separation from the rest of the town or city, as well as separation from each other (privacy and security). This way if they feel the need to commit a crime, then they can perpetrate their crimes on each other. I do not recommend a separation of the sexes. My main reason for this is if you choose to become addicted under this system, then you are choosing to live the life of an addict. No one has forced you to become addicted. You cannot blame your childhood, parents, etc. My second reason is that men and women are supposed to be equal in this country. So stand up and be equal in the bad as well as in the good.

So…..these are just a few of the different directions that our country can go when it comes to legalizing drugs. I am sure that there are many other ways of looking at it, but I am only one human being. Please feel free to expound upon your own ideas in the comment box. Or shoot me an email and I will see if I can post it as an addendum to this blog. Heck, you might even inspire a whole new blog just for you!

One thing I do know about this subject is that we, U.S. citizens and government, are woefully unprepared for legalized drugs, not only as a country, but as a culture in general. At this time in our history, there are way too many debates over moral issues between religious groups and secular groups. Just remember what happened after Roe vs. Wade. I’m sure you get my drift.

Discipline/Punishment


Is there a difference?

When you say “discipline”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a swat on the butt? A smack on the hand? Or maybe you think of grounding, removal of a favorite toy, sitting in the corner, etc.

These are in actuality forms of punishment.

When you say “punishment”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Getting smacked in the face (hard enough to leave bruises)? Getting hit with a foreign object like a belt, wooden spoon, or other item that leaves excruciating bruises, welts, cuts and scars? Being locked up in a small room with no light, very little airflow, or room to stand or stretch out?

These are in actuality forms of abuse.

If you look the two terms up in most dictionaries or other reference material, you most likely will find that the terms are considered synonymous with each other. One is the outcome of the other.

We have thought of discipline and punishment in conjunction with each other for so long that it is difficult for us to separate them. Unfortunately, this is exactly what we need to do.

I feel that the dry definitions of these two words do not show the whole picture.

So, in my infinite wisdom, I am taking a leap of faith and writing down how I feel that we should go about separating. Believe me when I say, that this is very nerve-wracking for me. Living through abuse as a child makes this a difficult subject for me to be non-aggressive in the stamping on someone else’s views. But I will do my best to keep this general, informative and thought-provoking.

Here we go:

Discipline is what humans, both individually (as parents) and socially (as a society), use to instill order in our environment. This can be done through self-discipline, familial discipline, societal discipline, political discipline, cultural discipline, or religious discipline. When you get right down to it, discipline is a means of teaching one’s self and/or those around us what is good and acceptable for us.

Discipline is also the teaching of others what is acceptable behavior within societal environs. Basically, this is done by explaining to those around us what society likes or does not like of different types of behavior. These explanations can get very repetitive with young children, persons with certain types of disabilities and those that are just plain stubborn in accepting what you are teaching. This constant repetition can get very frustrating, but a strong enough form of self-discipline can prevent the breakdown into excessive punishment (known as abuse). As an example, just think about this simple question that everyone who has been around young children knows quite well. “Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?” Irritatin’ ain’t it?

Discipline can usually be accomplished by the simple expedient of saying “Please don’t do that” or “I like what you just did” or “I appreciate how you acted just now” or “That is not very nice”. That is it. That is all it takes (granted it takes multiple repetitions to get the point across) to let the people around you know what is acceptable to you. In a societal setting though, we have to get a bit more specific. Hence the laws that have been codified refined and expanded on throughout the centuries. They are basically a large group of people saying “We will not accept (this type of behavior)” or “(This type of behavior) is not good for society”.

People that use the above form of discipline have usually been denigrated for being weak or wishy-washy, when in actuality they are following the true definition of the term. Those who denigrate their methods are thinking about punishment.

Punishment is the consequence of the failure to do what is good and acceptable to those around you. If you choose to “break the rules” of the individual, family, society, culture or religion that you are in, then you will be forcefully reminded, either verbally or physically, that you messed up. This can take many forms from shunning to death.

Punishment is definitely something that should fit the “crime”. The degree of punishment naturally depends on the severity of the “crime” and the number of people who were affected. Obviously refusing to eat your peas when you are a toddler is not going to require as much punishment as going on a mass murder spree when you are an adult.

A simple “No” works very well with very young toddlers and infants old enough to know what it means. Unfortunately, humans have this nasty propensity to push the boundaries on a regular basis. Therefore, once we know that the other person understands the concept of “no”, and continues to behave unacceptably, the form of punishment we use must be increased (in very small increments) until a balance has been achieved. There is no need to knock a child down because they tried to grab something out of your hand. A light slap on the hand is enough.

Conversely, someone who knows the difference between right and wrong that deliberately sets out to cause harm to those around them should not be let off with a slap on the hand. If you are old enough to understand “I don’t like this being done to me, so other people probably won’t like it either” and then intentionally harm someone else, then you should be punished in such a manner that you won’t want to harm another ever again.

Some ideas of punishment that come to me include making the crime and punishment public (no matter what the criminal’s age, sex, religion, politics, race, etc.). Embarrassment is a wonderful form. Punishment is meant to be unpleasant. Also, get rid of the TV’s, computers, exercise equipment and fictional books that are routinely found in our jails and prisons. If you are worried about the inmates becoming unruly or even going so far as to riot, keep them in separate rooms when they are not working their butts off. You can keep them busy by re-instituting chain-gangs and physical labor nationwide. If the criminal want something to read (should they are still awake enough), let them read from dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks and other types of instructional material. Another reason to keep them busy or separated is to contain the forced sex that occurs in this type of situation.

Jail is not meant to be abusive or dangerous to health. Having medical services in the prison itself is a definite keeper. We definitely want to keep the indoor plumbing, actual mattresses, proper food, clothing and shoes, as well. I also feel that having access to telephones and visitation is beneficial, as well. They are reminders to the criminal of what he/she is missing out on by committing a crime. I do not believe that conjugal visitations have any benefit above the previous sentence what so ever. It is nothing more than saying that it is ok for some to get what others can’t have. It is a source of disruption. If you want to get laid, then you shouldn’t have committed the crime.

If the crime is horrendous enough, I am a firm believer in the death penalty. I also feel that criminals that flat-out refuse to accept society’s laws and repeatedly commit vicious crimes should be added to the horrendous crime category. Most likely their multiple crimes equal one horrendous crime. On top of that, if the death penalty is handed down, it should be implemented within a fairly short period of time. If you are going to use it, then friggen use it! I realize that the criminal has the right to appeals, but there are only so many times that you can rehash the evidence without coming up with something new to use as a mitigating circumstance. If it was in the evidence, then it would have been set out in the first place. If you were found guilty of the horrendous crime because you committed it, then why should we allow you to sit on death row, sucking up tax dollars and wasting people’s time having to take care of you? I know that there are people out there that will be extremely offended by this, but a bullet or a rope does not cost near as much as using the electric chair or euthanasia drugs. You might want to keep that in mind.

Crimes affecting a large number of people, like drug dealing or bank robbery, should also be in this category. Drug dealing, especially in the upper levels, reaches hundreds or thousands of people either directly (users) or indirectly (family, friends, coworkers or victims of the users crimes). Bank robbing also affects hundreds or thousands of people by causing financial insurance rates to go up nationwide, which is then passed on to the customers in general. Both of these crimes generally have a death that can be attributed to them, as well. They also cause taxes to be used to catch the criminal, bring them to trial and keep them in jail. This results in taxes being raised nationwide. (Oops! I just realized that the last sentence is true for all other crimes, so I may need to figure out how to keep a petty criminal from being sentenced to death along with the extreme criminals. It is very difficult to keep the levels separate, isn’t it?)

By instituting and enforcing these types of measures we can build a more stable society, reduce the number of crimes committed and a cause a major reduction of the number of prisons needed. Not to mention a reduction in the taxes required to run them all. The down side to this type of reduction is the loss of jobs available. That would be something to look into prior to implementing any sweeping legal changes.

Conversely, the taxes saved from not building and staffing prisons could go to building and staffing schools. The way things are going in this day and age, I am sure that many schools would be more than happy to accept security staff that was trained to handle criminals in most situations. What little training needed for the other situations wouldn’t take very long or cost near as much. Hmmmm….that would take care of the job issue, and would make it easier for the teachers and other staff members. Just think of how many workers that we would be able to move from prisons to schools. It would definitely increase the safety of our children.

My Apologies


To those of you that have allowed me into your lives, I ask your forgiveness and extend my apologies for not blogging over this past week.

It has not been a good week for me and mine. I have been dealing with an infected tooth, which, I am sure, some of you know what that feels like. We have also lost a very close friend of ours to liver failure at the age of 52 due to complications from cancer. On top of that, we lost a family member, who was in his late 60’s or early 70’s, due to complications from cancer. Both of whom developed these complications after the fact. This wouldn’t have been quite so hard on us, except that they both passed away within 12 hours of each other on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 (R.I.P.). We then found out the next day that my boyfriend’s nephew lost a very lucrative job with an oil company due to cutbacks. I am still looking for work, and just received the bill from the emergency room in the amount of $680. Add to that our upcoming bills for gas, electricity, plates for the jeep, car insurance and next month’s rent. I have also had to cancel my dental appointment due to a lack of funds. Which will most likely cause another trip to the emergency room for more antibiotics when the tooth infection flares up again.

On the plus side, we are all medically healthy, still have a home to live in, and I am going to start looking for work outside of my home, since I can’t find a decent paying job online that matches my skill level. Because of this, I will most likely be very sporadic with my blogs and hope that all of you will stick with me throughout this trying period of my life. It may take a while to get a routine down so that I can begin blogging on a regular basis again, but I will do my best to post at least once a week, hopefully more. Just don’t hold your breath on the “more” part.

I will understand if some of you no longer follow me during the next few months, but I do hope that you will continue to check back on occasion to see when I have posted something new. I also intend to post as many as I can, as often as I can, during the next few weeks. I have some ideas to blog about, but would appreciate all the ideas that you can come up with and are willing to pass on to me. The more controversial, the better. Just don’t get too angry if I take your ideas in a completely different direction than you expected.

Thank you for being you and accepting me.

Hugs.

Prejudice is idiotic.


The word prejudice (or foredeeming) is most often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people or a person because of gender, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, nationality or other personal characteristics. It can also refer to unfounded beliefs[1] and may include “any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence.”[2] Gordon Allport defined prejudice as a “feeling, favorable or unfavorable, toward a person or thing, prior to, or not based on, actual experience.”[citation needed] via Wikipedia. 

In the above definition, Gordon Allport stated that prejudice can be both favorable and unfavorable. This has been proven time after time in human history. You can see this at the familial level (i.e. most/least favored child, sibling, parent, aunt, uncle, cousin or grandparent), at the neighborhood level (i.e. worst/nicest house, lawn, pets, children or car), at the township level (i.e. most/least prosperous business, best/worst school, etc.) and on up through all the levels of society including governmental prejudice (i.e. best/worst politician, congressman, president, law, program, country, etc.).

Similarity builds and confirms our societal identity as a whole. Generation after generation throughout human history we have learned that those similar to us are more likely to band together with us. Banding together helps with survival of our selves, our children and our ideals. Unfortunately, the idea of similarity has become so ingrained that most humans no longer accept that different is not wrong.

Different is someone whose skin color is other than ours. Different is someone whose eye shape is other than ours. Different is someone whose language is other than ours. Different is someone whose sexual organs are other than ours. Different is someone whose feelings & opinions are other than ours. Different is someone whose ideas and thoughts are other than ours. Different is not same. Different is not us. Different is other.

The idea that someone can enjoy friendship and love with someone else of the same gender is not considered wrong.  Men love their sons, have male friends and can even have an emotional connection with other men in general. The same goes for women and their daughters, female friends and emotional connections with other women. This is considered normal. As long as the other person looks, sounds, thinks and has feelings similar to us.

The idea that someone can enjoy friendship, love and sex with someone of the opposite gender is not considered wrong. Men and women getting together over the past generations is obviously what has kept the human race around. We start out with friendship, usually move on to sex and occasionally end up with love. These physical & emotional attachments, united in the family unit, are the foundation to human society. In the past, this basic unit (father, mother and child/children, as well as the extended unit of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) is considered normal in most peoples’ minds.

What has changed is that some of today’s families are not what’s considered normal. Single parent families, as well as multi-color (national, religious, etc.) families, were considered shameful at one point, but are now accepted as a fact of life. There are other families, though, that are looked upon with disgust. Some families have two fathers and no mothers, two mothers and no father, one father and multiple mothers or one mother and multiple fathers. These are the families that are currently debated about in loud voices as each individual of the “normal” units try to impose their own views about such behavior.

I have yet to understand what is so wrong about these family units. Here is just some of the BS that has been spouted.

  1. I have heard flagrant lies stating that someone who is homosexual is automatically a moral deviant. That they will “turn” a child of the same sex into a homosexual. That they will sexually assault the child/children in their care. If this is true, then why is it that most of the people in jail for sexual assault on a minor are not homosexuals? I have not heard of any child of homosexual parents being forced or “turned” into a homosexual. If the child is gay, then it was gay from the get go. Homosexuality is not some form of contagious disease. Most persons that are homosexual are no different from any of the rest of us in their beliefs. Many are firm believers in a personal deity, have strong moral beliefs, have very set ideas about politics and feel that children should be raised in a caring and loving environment. The fact that they enjoy sexual relations with someone of their own gender has nothing to do with any of these other factors. It is an irrational belief because they are different.
  2. I have heard that multi-color families breed children that are confused and lash out at society. If this is true, then why is it that most of the lashing out is done by children and adults of single color families? Not once have I come across a child of multi-color parents that has lashed out at others strictly because of being of multi-colors. Usually, they are lashing out at those around them who have caused them pain and suffering first. This is not confusion on the child, but a defense against the poor treatment by the society around them. These children have the same dreams for the future that single color children have. They want the same clothes, cars, jobs and lives that any other child wants. Their coloring has nothing to do with any of these other factors. It is an irrational belief because they are different.
  3.  I have heard that families with unusual combinations of parents cause misguided beliefs in their children about relationships in general. If this is true, then why is it that children & adults of typical parentage are the ones with the highest percentage of divorce and abuse within their relationships? I have yet to hear of very many families of this rare type that have been broken apart due to cheating, abuse of a co-parent or child, lack of money or caused confusion due to non-typical parental roles in the home. These families generally have more opportunities for individual quality time for each child, which generally leads to a happier childhood. They also tend to learn that different ideas and feelings are ok. This leads to less prejudices and greater tolerance in society as a whole. In this case, the type of family unit is a direct cause of these factors and I really don’t see anything misguided about any of it. It is an irrational belief because they are different.

These are just three of the many prejudices floating around out there about different types of family units. I have also added just one of the many questions that each statement brings up. Additionally, I have listed a few of my own personal opinions about why these prejudices are so ignorant. Why are people so afraid of something or someone who doesn’t fit the status quo? In what way is their choice of lifestyle, life partner(s) and family unit going to affect your life? The answer is: it doesn’t! You don’t like it for yourself, therefore, it must be wrong for everyone else.

We, as a society, spout platitudes about how it is ok to be different and unique, that it is ok to have differences of opinions, that it is ok for some to like pink and others to like blue, but in the end different & unique are only ok on the small things. It is only ok to have a difference of opinion about minor topics. It is only ok if girls like pink and boys like blue. Heaven forbid we talk to each other, learn about the individuals in different family units, and accept that their differences will not change who we are deep inside. The only thing that different can change about us is the amount & type of knowledge that we have. On occasion, it can even change our opinions. But it won’t change us as a person. Only we can change who or what we are.

I have to admit that I am just as prejudiced about certain topics as the next person, but I feel that I at least try to keep them away from other peoples’ personal issues. Sadly, I am not perfect and have run smack into my prejudices on a regular basis. I do try to admit when I am being irrational, if only to myself, but, again, I am not perfect. I am quite sure that at any given time in the future you could go through my blogs and find me spouting irrational opinions that wholly contradict opinions that I blogged about before. So be it. I’m human.

My biggest prejudice is against stupidity, aka lack of common sense. This has gone beyond a simple pet peeve. I have yet to understand why someone else being gay is going to destroy society. At what point in history has this ever proven true? Conversely, people who waste large amounts of time & money in our courts suing because they spilled the hot coffee they just ordered on themselves affect everyone’s lives. It is now more expensive for that cup of hot coffee because the manufacturer has to add “warning: coffee is hot” to the cups. If you order hot coffee, then expect it to be hot!

There are entirely too many forms of this type of stupidity to list, but I am sure you all know what I am talking about.

As you can see from my ramblings above, another of my prejudices is prejudice itself. I realize that this doesn’t really make sense, but I can’t abide people who rant & rave about something for the simple fact that it is different. Just because something or someone is physically different, thinks differently or has different feelings does not automatically make them wrong or a target.  You do not need to make every effort to change that thing or person into something like yourself. Stop trying to force them into specific categories and boxes that they don’t fit into. I aim this paragraph at politicians, statisticians, assistance programs and religious groups. Every  one of these special interest groups try to force others into their own special pigeon-hole and wonder why people get angry with them for it.

I like differences that don’t involve injury to another person or group of people. It doesn’t matter if it is a physical type of harm or if it is mental, emotional, religious or financial harm. Harm is harm. Being different is not a license to be damaged. Being different does not make a person or thing inferior to others.  It just means different. Period. End of story.

Being different as a child is not fun, most especially when it is a difference that you cannot change. Who your family is, what you look like (although this is becoming a fluid situation at ever younger ages), what your family’s financial status is, what your name is (again, this is becoming a fluid situation), what kind of car your parents have, etc., etc. As you get older, some of these differences can be changed, if you are still worried about it. But not everything is changeable. Your family is still your family. The only way to get away from this is to move to another part of the world and never let anyone else know where you came from. Good luck with that in this age of the internet.

In the end, the only thing I can add is to learn to accept yourself and those around you as you & they are. If someone is going to harm you & yours, it is because that single, individual person wants to harm others. Not because they are gay, colored, Republican, Democratic, religious or any other irrational reason that someone has tossed into the fray as an excuse to cause hate so they can hide their own inadequacies. It is easier to throw rocks than it is to dodge them.

Are you ready for some football???


Every year we celebrate the children returning to school. No more High C Soprano screams in the neighborhood.  No more loud cars and stereos vibrating their way past your house all day long. You can justify keeping that irritating bumper rider at a sedate 20 mph for the next 4 or 5 blocks.

Then you come home, turn on the TV, and BLAM!, the first game of the season smacks you in the face.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for sports.  They help keep people active, healthy and outdoors.  They allow college scholarships for high school athletes, create an incredible amount of job opportunities from grade school scrambles on up to professional teams, and give the financially disadvantaged child the knowledge that they can make their dreams happen. They also keep the older crowds’ metabolism up with all of the jumping, yelling, finger-pointing, bleacher coaching and couch crunching going on each year.

So, there you are, staring in dread at the screen. Your brain shuts down for just the tiniest moment before going in to football overdrive.  How many games will I have to host?  Who all will be coming? Will it be for the kids or the adults?  How many snack foods will be needed?  Has the carpet shampooer been serviced? Who was that party planner I met the other day (now I know why she was smirking)? Where did I put her card? Will the dog get over-excited  and make a mess on the neighbors lap? Will I survive till March?

As these questions, and many others, run through your mind, you take a deep breath and let it out. You take another deep, deep breath and slowly let it out. You stand up and find yourself vowing to the Lord (and any other deities that might exist) that you will not allow yourself to be stranded in the kitchen this year because you don’t know anything about football. You are going to learn everything there is to know about things like “offense”, “defense”, “special teams” and the different positions in each one. You will learn what the actual rules are, because you will be a member of the group. No more asking “what does that mean?” or “why do they do that?” and “when will the game be over?”

Then we realize that we left it too long. Our day-to-day routines have left little time to sit down and decipher the foreign language of “rules & regulations”, “playbooks” and intra-team lingo. We slowly lower our fist, let our shoulders droop and shuffle into the kitchen to begin making dinner.  As we sit down to an indifferently cooked meal, we listen to the excited chatter from around the table. Football…..football…..football……………

Isn’t it just ducky?

Hi. My name is Echo & I am a football widow. 

The man I love has suddenly become the world’s greatest coach. Everything his chosen team, the opposing team and the referees do is wrong. The refs will make all the wrong calls at all the worst possible moments. Defense will not sack the quarterback, tackle the running back or wide receiver, pick up the fumble or block the field goal. Yet again, the offense will fail to block the defense, drop the ball, throw for negative yards or step out-of-bounds at the wrong time.  My personal favorite is when they throw the short pass to the side and get tackled behind the line of scrimmage.  Oh, how he starts to bounce in his chair, as though he was Skip from ESPN’s First Take, which is pretty impressive since he is in a wheelchair.  Every year I wonder if we will have to replace it after each game. Luckily, they make them very sturdy these days.

As football widows, we get to sit and listen (during the game) to how that play should have been done, why that ref is blind, where that particular WR should be sent (because he is so slow, clumsy, fast, etc.) and whether or not the QB should be benched for such poor decisions. After the game, we get to listen to a play by play breakdown between him and his friends. Each play is dissected down to its individual foot movement, arm movement and body position. Friends that were unable to be here are called and the whole game rehashed over the phone. The debates go on and on. Usually, they last longer than the game did. You hear it at the office, in the parking lot and in the grocery stores. Finally, we only hear only the occasional comment. That is, until the next game (usually the next day, or on the next channel, depending on your cable package).

Whatever happened to football on Sundays and holidays? When did it become a daily ritual to go through the TV guide searching for each & every game time?  How did my home become the coaches’ box multiple times a day? How did we get transported continuously to exotic places like Denver, Indianapolis and other states? Who realized that college football would be as addictive as the NFL?

For almost every day of the week, for the rest of the year, we will be watching & listening. Trying to learn & understand what it is we are hearing. As we listen, we think that we are actually learning something about that game called “Football”. That all-encompassing, illusive sport that sucks our men’s attention away from “normal” life. We think to ourselves “I am really going to be able to join the group this year.”

It never occurs to us that we think the exact same thought every year. And every year, we go through the same process. From preseason to post season, we hold tight to that vow we made. The refrain “Never Again” echoes through the minds of football widows across the world. Never admitting to ourselves that when post season is over we will go back to the mundane routine that interfered with learning about football in the first place.

Football widows are so naïve…………….

……..My dog is in here cowering. I think she is of the opinion that “daddy” is mad at her.  If she could just figure out how to get into that little box, onto the field and chase those “idiots” in the right direction then “daddy” would stop yelling.  She is such a sweet, loyal, misguided, naïve little puppy.  You would think that she would have learned, after 8 ½ years, that this happens every year.

She is a football widow also.