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Note Taking

Quill - Wikipedia

I’ve written in my Journal every day since 09/14/2014. In 1973 I started with CT State Police and kept a field notebook my entire career. A wise man, States Attorney Arnold Markle once said, Document, Document, Document., if it’s not written down, it never happened. That piece of advise validated my testimony on a witness stand many times over.

About Arnold Markle

Going back to that flimsy 2 Subjects college ruled notebook I learned I ate Blueberry Yogurt for breakfast, it was 58f at 0600 and we had a high that day of 71 degrees.

With all that is going on in this day and age, there is much to write about. Be safe, Stay 6 feet apart, not 6 feet under.

In addition to WordPress I write in Medium from time to time and read fellow writers work almost daily.

I share with you Debby Germino’s article on Medium

How Note Taking Will Make You Better at Life

A 3 Step Guide to Note-Taking for Disorganized People

Debby GerminoJun 7, 2019 · 8 min read

Photo by Simson Petrol on Unsplash

I wish I had started the habit of note-taking far earlier in my life. It was always something I admired in others but could never pull off myself. I always knew it would make me a better writer but I never realized how much it could serve in every area of my life. It has the potential to improve anything you decide to take notes on.

My mother is a note taker. She notes down recipes, vacation details, home repairs, life events, accomplishments…she even notes the size and cost of her Thanksgiving turkey each year. She can tell you details of vacations she took when she was in college, down to the hotel she stayed at, the bar she went to and the drinks she and her friends ordered.

She tried to get me to start a travel journal when I was a kid and I went on my first plane trip to Orlando, Florida. She gave me a notebook and told me to write a dated entry each day detailing what activities we did. I remember really wanting to be diligent at it and take notes as my mom did. But it wasn’t until the plane ride home where I opened that journal up for the first time. As I began to journal each day from memory, my mind got ahead of myself and the task quickly became cumbersome and overwhelming. I noted a few days and quickly abandoned the process in favor of napping.

The key, as my mother had told me, was doing it every day for just a few minutes, rather than saving a whole bunch of days to write all at once.

“Note taking is like cleaning”, she said. “The more often you do it, the easier it is do.”

The Benefits

But just what makes this cumbersome task such a worthy endeavor? How does it improve your life?

Here are the key benefits that I have derived from note taking.

  1. Help You Learn Better: Your mind retains more information when you write it down because your brain has to evaluate and prioritize the information which engages different parts of the brain aiding in recall later on.
  2. Improves the Quality of Whatever You Note: Because you are paying more attention, your brain is filtering the information, linking and connecting ideas faster. This effectively increases the quality of work.
  3. Relieves Stress: When your mind is racing with a million things to do it can be calming to write them down and know that you have acknowledged each one and they will be there when you get to them later.
  4. Provides a relevant and useful account of whatever you note: Notes are more reliable than memory.
  5. Creates a greater awareness and insight: When you begin to note a particular subject or activity, you naturally pay more attention to it because you know will be writing it down. This leads to more insight and a stronger ability to make connections and correlations.

Though I was unaware of these benefits when I was 8 years old, I still admired my mother’s ability to reference meaningful dates, useful household repairs, and various practical life details that would otherwise be lost or forgotten. She was trained as a secretary and one of the last generations to have been taught shorthand. Finding her shorthand notes looked like a strange hybrid of doodling and hieroglyphics. It always baffled me how those strange squiggly shapes could actually make sentences. It was like a secret language and I wanted to be in the know. I asked her to teach it to me but I never had the patience to learn it.

She’d take her shorthand notes from a phone call and then transfer them to a notebook or file them away in an appropriate folder where she could reference them later. Though I envied her organization and useful information she had at her fingertips, I could never seem to implement it into my own life.

Don’t Be Intimidated

Over the years, I read about many methods of note taking, hoping to find the magic strategy that would enable me to embrace this process once and for all. Tim Ferriss details his intricate process of note taking and indexing for quick reference on his blog. Author Ryan Holiday has a system of his own that he borrowed from writer Robert Greene. Both of their systems are extremely detailed and quickly induce anxiety when I begin to think about implementing them.

Happiness expert and author Gretchen Rubin, writes about her note-taking process on her blog which is less overwhelming but still cumbersome. I take comfort in Gretchen’s admission that,

“while it might seem like a passive, easy task, [but] it’s actually very challenging.”

It takes a lot of mental energy and concentration to do the type of note -taking that these authors are referring to. When it’s part of your job and integral to the work you do every day it certainly makes sense to have elaborate systems in place. But as someone who struggles with organization and orderliness, trying to implement complex note-taking systems is never going to happen, no matter how great I think it would be.

The good news is you can still enjoy the benefits of note taking without having an elaborate system in place. If you are a slightly scattered and cluttered person like me then this process is perfect for you. In fact, there are just three steps to follow.

  1. Start simple.

2. See what you notice.

3. Let it evolve.

Start Simple

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

First, take one corner of your life that you want to notate. Maybe you want to track your energy levels to see how your workouts affect you or you want to take notes on the books you read so you can remember them better. Just pick one topic for now. This is a commitment so if you try doing too many areas at once, you’ll end up dropping it all together because you can’t keep up.

I started with daily food journaling. I began this process when I found out I had mercury poisoning and it became necessary for me to track my food intake along with my symptoms. Because this was an unusual diagnosis I felt that I needed to be hyper-vigilant of my symptoms and progress to empower myself with the information I needed to heal. I started simple. I logged what I ate and how I felt after eating.

Once you choose your subject, you’ll also need to decide whether you want to be a digital or analog notetaker or a combination of both. I began using pen and paper to write my food journals. I found a simple form that allowed me enough space to write my food and the notes I wanted to take along with it. I was able to keep it with me so I could write my food at each meal. I didn’t want to have to search an app for foods or need to have my computer close by whenever I ate so this worked well for me to start. The idea is to make it as convenient as possible so when you think of something you want to note, you have easy access to do it.

See What You Notice

As you begin taking notes, you’ll find that there are things you want to note each time or things you continue to write over and over. You’ll notice that you’re more aware of whatever it is you are logging. Thoughts will come up more often that you want to note down. This is one of the benefits. You’ll also start making correlations between things that you hadn’t noticed before. This is also a benefit.

It may take some time to notice these things. Be patient. You just want to establish the habit so it’s more important that you keep up with the notes than trying to analyze them. I food journaled for many months before I began linking specific foods with my symptoms.

Most of the things I noticed initially, had to do with the actual process of note-taking. I noticed ways I could make the process easier and more effective as I began to make it a habit. This is where the evolution begins.

Let it Evolve

Photo by Felipe Furtado on Unsplash

The longer I kept up with the habit, the more I noticed the benefits. My food journaling form evolved quite a bit over the 2 years that I continued it. I went from handwriting my journal to making my own template in Evernote. Yes, I know. I said this was for unorganized, messy people who get overwhelmed with systems and formats. This is the evolution that will be born out of what you notice. You will want to make things easier and more efficient as you figure out what information is most important for you to note. For me, I found that designing a template allowed me to add checkboxes and data points for the specific categories I wanted to keep track of.

But this was after making it a habit.

The evolution is when you find yourself taking notes in other areas of your life. You’ll notice the benefits and want to expand your process. I have found Evernote to be a great application for my note taking expansion. It allows me to create notebooks for any subject I want to have notes for. This has been an easy way to keep things organized. I still struggle with not remembering to tag each note which makes it difficult to find things later on. But I am happy that I am learning better and remembering more just from writing my ideas down. My skills aren’t up to par with my mom or Tim Ferriss but at least the habit has taken hold and I’m enjoying the process.

If you want to be a better writer, researcher, learner, student, teacher, or just better at life, make note taking a habit. Don’t be intimidated by the process. Keep it simple, see what you notice, and let it evolve.


Debby Germino is a freelance tv/film editor who enjoys writing about mindfulness, health, and strategies for happier living. She writes a bi-weekly newsletter and is open to comments and suggestions on any of these topics.The Startup

Medium’s largest active publication, followed by +622K people. Follow to join our community.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Semper Fi theRooster

By George, He’s got it!

I share with you an enlightening poem from across the dis-functioning Bay Bridge, which connects the Western Shore with the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I was not going to call you at 0400 hrs George to let you know I was doing this George. Sleep well my friend.

I would guess George has been a friend for close to twenty years. Geeze, that was back in the days when we had a president that said ” “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.” Where does the time go?

Now in this day and age we have the CDC Says “Do Not Go to Work, “President Trump Says, “Thousands With Coronavirus Could Go to Work and Get Better.” Fill those pews on Easter Sunday. A Greek Tragedy?

Often after he posts something on one of his many venues, George sends me scurrying to find out just what in the hell he is referencing. Most often I’m successful, but on occasion I’m left scratching my head. Enjoy the poem.

The best short social isolation poem so far is by Grandpa Brody

poor georgie’s almanackUncategorized March 25, 2020 1 Minute

nintchdbpict000372862596.jpgIt was his response to a recent “poor georgie’s almanack” posting.

FREEDOM AND CAGES

I looked out my window and saw a great sight,   A bird and a squirrel were having a fight. Seeds on the ground were causing their rage, They were free, unlike me, pent up in a cage. Coronavirus dumped on us, a rampant deluge,    We’re saved for the time in our homely refuge, The squirrel has bolted, the bird struts around,    My heart’s with the seeds all over the ground, It’s so strange inside, I can hear graying hair,    Sounds of the crowds, and look, no one’s there, We are stuck in the house for a foe that is viral,    All normal relations are in a downward spiral. The long golden silence is but tarnished words,    I long for outside, breathing free like the birds, My life of the past and its warmth do I seek,    I’ve endured this affliction for all of one week. Squirrel has returned eating seeds that are left,    Looking out of my window to the world, bereft Of my freedom to move anywhere that I please,    To enjoy the squirrels and birds in the trees. Next week may be better, a brisk sunny walk,    Or perhaps my dear wife and I will just talk, About the day when this plague’s in the past,    But for now, how long will this dilemma last?

Published by poor georgie’s almanack

Retired. Writing essays about local and world events that affected the decisions made by our ancestors that resonate with our lives today. We are who they were. Also writing my take on what Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack might be like in a modern world that now has electrcity. I was head of PR for The Washington Post during Pentagon Papers and Watergate, special assistant to the Postmaster General, senior staffer on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a show business press agent, Chicago chamber of commerce press relations manager and consultant to US and international governmental and nongovernmental agencies and corporations. Examples of my work are in the Smithsonian and Newseum collections. poor georgie’s almanack (since 2011) can be found at http://georgekroloff.blogspot.com You can Google it or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. View all posts by poor georgie’s almanack Published March 25, 2020

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Don’t forget to check on the elderly.
The bald guy on the right turns 77 today.

theRooster Semper Fi

Rooster & Family Happenings on 3/22

From Sam in the Netherlands

The Crazy Davies at Christmas, Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germanyhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuschwanstein_Castle

Today is day 23 (I think) of Dax and Zoe having no school and day 5 for Mia and Ana. A quick recap of some of the best moments from the week. Some you may not think are great, but all made me laugh as they happened.

Zoe is standing in nothing but underwear stomping her feet, yelling for spicy water.

Dax is running as fast as he can (which isn’t very fast) to find the perfect hiding spot, only to run back to where I’m counting and ask for help.

Ana is getting mad at me for not explaining her homework the way her teacher does. She walks away, saying she’ll take care of it. After returning a couple minutes later, it is completed correctly.

Mia is so excited to video chat with her best friend from school after I set up a virtual play date for them.

The best group moment was as we sat in front of our projector screen and “rode” Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, It’s a Small World, and many more. Of course, we put our hands up and yelled, and turned to match the ride, because that’s what you do when you have to create your own fun.

What this week has taught me is that though homeschooling is something I said I would never do and this virus has ruined a lot of plans we had in the coming 3 months, it’s going to be ok. I hate that my kids understand that this virus has the power to disrupt what is normal. I also love that it has taught them how to innovate fun and how to become better friends with one another.

I would love to see what your best moments of the week were!

Daughter Kathryn

SALISBURY, Md. – Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury is taking steps to prepare for an influx of COVID-19 patients and questions. “We know right now in this time of high anxiety and wondering what’s really out there and what information should I listen to, people are trying to understand where they can get the right answers,” said Dr. Kathryn Fiddler, vice president of population health at PRMC.

Friday nurses set up shop at PRMC’s brand new call center. The hospital tells 47 ABC they are now taking calls seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The health professionals taking calls are able to answer questions about COVID-19 and provide advice on how to stay healthy. “They can understand how their symptoms are, whether or not they should call a health provider, also whether or not they should isolate at home,” said Dr. Fiddler.

Outside in the parking lot, a large tent was set up in case the hospital needs extra space in a patient surge. PRMC’s chief nursing officer tells us this tent is one of a kind for the region, and will be shared by multiple other hospitals. “Currently we have a cleaning crew here. The tent came packaged very tightly and very neatly, so we need to undo that and with that comes a lot of opportunity to clean. We want to make sure that when we do we have the availability and they need to open it that it’s absolutely 100% ready for our patients, and we want to ensure that it is clean to start,” said Sarah Arnett. When the tent is ready, it’ll be equipped with temperature control, running water, and can hold up to 20 patients.

Because the tent is right underneath one of the hospital’s helicopter pads, the pad is shut down temporarily. Hospital officials say helicopters will land on another pad on the other side of the campus. Hospital officials also say that the city of Salisbury helped to organize everything. The city donated weighted barrels and concrete barriers to help keep the tent safely in place and out of the way of traffic.

PRMC says they’ll continue to monitor the volume of calls and what types of questions people are asking so they can adjust staffing at the call center as needed. If you have questions about COVID-19 or are worried about symptoms, you can reach the call center at (410) 912-6889.

Husband Jeff went into DC for a few days last week, now he’s ordered to stay home. He Telecommutes, and gets to throw a line in the water and fish at lunch time. Now Yellow Lab, Lady Liberty has a dog walker 24-7. Life is good on their side of the river.

Categories: CoronavirusLocal NewsMaryland

Tags: call centercoronaviruscovid-19dr. kathryn fiddlermarylandpeninsula regional medical centerprmcsalisburysarah arnetttent

Sarah the Deliverer

A VISIT FROM THE MIDDLE CHILD.

Hi everyone! I have been “working” from home since last Tuesday which isn’t saying a whole lot since most restaurants are closed or only allowing carryout. The club and retail business units are helping make up for our losses. Cameron drove home from Alabama instead of Spring Break and Blaire is home working at the nursery. Sydney is in San Diego workout from home. Ray is working at the nursery, Tommy can’t go any further than 60 miles away. Greg is laying off all non-essential workers in anticipation of shipping across state lines being suspended. I’ve only had a couple of freak out moments and then I take a walk and get those endorphins working. My closet is super organized In descending rainbow 🌈colors and I’m enjoying cooking and cleaning and wearing prairie dresses. Currently at MVA for Poppy and then Porch time visit with them. Love to you all😘

I’ve delivered some fresh produce from How Sweet it is for my parents who are under self quarantine for the next Two weeks. My sister and I want to still see our parents without putting them at risk of exposure to the virus. We call it “Porch Time”. Enjoyed warm sunshine and a lovely visit while maintaining 6 feet distance apart. Best to everyone in these challenging days ahead. Thank you Kathy Fiddler and all of our healthcare workers at PRMC for working so hard to keep our community safe and healthy.

God Bless her, she just came by with an order the Mrs. placed earlier. Some noodles, Chopped Maters in a can, a chicken. Her Aunt in-law, Diane, sent a bag of books and plates from MVA for my new truck. She got the plates on her third trip the day prior to it’s closing for Covid-19.

Matt & Family in CT

Son Matt & wife Beth, in Connecticut, are well as is his family the last we heard. Daughter Jill home from Siena College, Freshman in HS Rebecca is home, David working from his Apartment in NYC and Kevin, he’s at his Apartment at UConn continuing on line studies.. 

The Rooster and the Mrs. are doing just fine, deliveries coming in as needed, three active hens starting to produce a few eggs now that the weather is warmer. Ben doing fine and providing exercise as we go on potty missions. I lift Ammo Box’s for part of my exercise and walk the house most time FitBit tells me to do so.

Rooster Stuff

Image result for 2001 ford f-150 super cab

I have a new truck, well, new to me anyway. The old truck was a 1992 Chevy Silverado, the new truck is a 2001 Ford F-150, Super Cab, 4×4. Right now it’s getting some Rocker Panel repairs. I should have it back in a few days. This new vehicle has Reverse gear, the old truck could only go backwards if parked facing an up-slope. Oh, and the new one has windshield wipers also. My arm got tired when hanging outside with a squeegee. It’s been an adventure with that old Silverado for the past sixteen years.

The Local Grands, Abby and Rachael are still at their respective jobs the last I heard. Rachael is busy still setting up her new home to her specifications, now that she’s a home owner. Tommy, USAF, down in NC, is well and hoping for some leave next month.

Travels with Harrison

Harrison and the Rooster did their thing this past Thursday, 3/19. We had no contact with anyone ,other than the Drive-Up window at Arbys. We made a Dump/Trash run, organised the box Harrison keeps on the front seat of his P/U Truck. The BOX was used by Harrison’s father over the years, Back in the day. That box holds some special meanings. By late on Saturday after confering with the wife, daughter, CDC and others I made a decision to pretty much shelter in place. For now, I’ll miss my days with my Buddy, the education he has provided me on so many things. Last week was a Latin language class of sorts.

Arbor- tree, Walnut -Euglandis, Maple – Acernis, Wood – lignum

The End – Finis

So, I’ve most likely bored you to death should you have stayed to the end. Be SAFE, Be SMART and don’t hoard the toilet paper.

Image result for empty toilet paper roll funny

Don’t forget to check on the eldery.

theRooster Semper Fi

Travels on Delmarva with Harrison

Steinbeck had “Travels with Charlie.” Mitch Album has his “Tuesdays with Morey,” and there was “On the road with Jack Kerouac.” I think I’ve now got the start of “Travels on Delmarva with Harrison.” You’ve already met Harrison last month at Kern’s retirement party.

Image result for delmarva peninsula

Back in October of last year, my son-in-law asked me if I’d be interested in spending a few days a week with his father traveling about the shore. The shore would be the Eastern Shore, known to many as the Delmarva Peninsula. His father is in his late 80’s, and he experienced a stroke several years ago, which has affected his speech, balance, and short term memory to some degree.

Image result for chesapeake nurseries
Chesapeake Nurseries Inc.

Harrison is the husband of Sylvia and the father of Greg, Lisa, and Julie. There are also grandchildren and, most recently, a great-grandchild. His father immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s from the Netherlands after first arriving as a flower bulb salesman. Harison’s father ultimately established a nursery business in the Salisbury Maryland area. That business, under Harrison’s love and guidance has grown considerably. Under Greg’s guidance the nursery continues to propagate.

Image result for Delmarva Peninsula

So, just where is the Delmarva Peninsula, you might ask? The Delmarva Peninsula encompasses parts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. All that land east of the Chesapeake Bay and south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal ending at the Virginia, Bay Bridge-Tunnel at Cape Charles, makes up the Delmarva Peninsula. We even have a Regional Spaceport here.

Field Crop News Photo/Winter Wheat

Harrison loves the history of Delmarva. He loves the land, especially the open fields, many of which are planted this time of year with Winter Wheat. These fields remind me of Ireland, so green in their contrast to the trees still in their winter hibernation. Historical homes and buildings are a natural magnet for Harrison. Harrison also loves his midday meals, which we share. Perhaps we shall have some Gastro insight down the road.

My new-found buddy knows the short term memory has taken a trip to somewhere not in the present. There are moments when a delightful chuckle will come up, “oops,” he might say, you better ask Sylvia that one when he has a thought, and it fly’s off the carrier deck like an F-18. Never is this gentleman frustrated with his position in life. He is a kind, gentle human being who loves his family, life, the land, and the Eastern Shore.

His devoted wife drives him to the local senior center five days a week for some Physical Therapy, and comradery, with those on the same station in life as he. We are starting our fourth month together, and I continue to learn from this man with so much knowledge of what I like to say, this, that, and other things.

May this week bring me more adventure as I travel the Eastern Shore with Harrison. With the blessing of those close to him, I look forward to sharing some of them with you.

Thank you Sylvia, Lisa, Greg, and Julie for sharing someone special with me.

Super Tuesday’s this week, don’t forget, vote early, vote often.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A share by someone I follow

Caterpillars Don’t Become Butterflies!

Posted on January 6, 2015 by mitchteemley

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Did you know that caterpillars are not “transformed” into butterflies? In metamorphosis (the name of the process), a caterpillar is liquefied. Only after its actual death can entirely new creature, a butterfly, emerge!

the-very-hungry-caterpillar-480x270

But most people’s image of the process is more like Eric Carle’s classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in which the little caterpillar “makes a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep, only to wake up a few weeks later wonderfully transformed into a butterfly!” (amazon.com)

The Very Dead Caterpillar would probably have sold fewer copies. But it would have been more accurate.

AWAM072505_40

When I was a kid, I used to love going to La Mirada Creek and catching those pudgy little pre-frogs we called pollywogs (you may have known them as tadpoles). I would bring them home and dump them into a tub, and then watch with fascination as they shed their tails, sprouted legs, and crawled out like showroom models: “The new Frog!” That’s transformation (“change of form”) and it’s majorly cool. But it’s not what a caterpillar does.

A caterpillar dies.

egyptian-red-lentil-soup

After building its own coffin (cocoon), the caterpillar seals itself inside—and dissolves. And then, in a process only vaguely understood by scientists, that stew of free-floating genetic material undergoes a total metamorphosis (“change of nature”).

In other words, butterflies are not souped-up caterpillars, they’re entirely new creations made from caterpillar soup!

Not surprisingly, caterpillars and butterflies are used as spiritual symbols in virtually every culture on earth. But because the real process is so radical and so little understood, they’re nearly always represented as symbols of transformation, rather than metamorphosis. To be fair, many religious teachings do help people become better caterpillars.

But that’s not enough.

According to Jesus, God doesn’t want souped-up caterpillars, he wants butterflies. He wants us to die to ourselves (Luke 9:23-24) and become completely “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Just like caterpillars do.

The Apostle Paul (in the Greek language of Romans 12:1 and 2) describes the process of metamorphosis like this:

Present your bodies as a living sacrifice (build your cocoon and get in!), holy (‘set apart’), acceptable to God (nothing short of metamorphosis can accomplish this)… Don’t be conformed by (don’t take on the ‘shape’ of) this world (or ‘age’ or ‘era’), but (instead) be metamorphosed (changed in your very nature) by the renewing (‘regenerating’ or ‘re-growing”) of your mind (incidentally, the Greek word for mind is psuche—the same as the Greek word for butterfly!) so that you may be discerning (only by being metamorphosed can you know) what is the will of God (as opposed to the will of a dark and broken world), what is good, well-pleasing, and perfect (‘complete’ or ‘whole’—in contrast to the incompleteness and brokenness of this world).”

Viceroy_Butterfly

Caterpillars and butterflies are the world’s most popular symbol of transformation. But they’re also a far more powerful and challenging metaphor than most people realize.

It’s still the beginning of a new year. What better time to start over, not just as “the new You!” but as a completely new creation!

Are you ready to start work on that cocoon? Thanks Mitch, much appreciated, theRooster

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Think about it.

stirring the pot
https://leadershipfreak.blog/2014/04/30/4-ways-to-stir-the-pot-and-not-get-burned/

A forward From the words of : publised on Medium today.

There are a few “F” words in this article. If that’s offensive to you stop here, or you can make a mental change like: e.g. in case of, “f**k man!” You can say, “dank man!” similarly in case of “f**king stupid” you can vent out like, “frigging stupid” and in the case of “get the f**k out of here” using “get the hell out of here” would be little less impolite.

Drew Magary

Columnist at GEN. Previously: Deadspin, GQ

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

BBernie Sanders is gonna win. The whole thing. He’s gonna win the primaries, and then he’s gonna beat Trump in November. This is not me hedging. This is not me being like, “Well gee, maybe he CAN win.” No. He’s winning. I’m calling it with 0% of precincts reporting.

I realize I am the last blogger alive who has a right to tout unwavering election picks, but I don’t give a shit. I’m ready to try out hope again. Since 2016, I have not worn hope particularly well. I have been led by my own despair, with Trump’s election and its horrible aftermath leaving me hopeless that anything could ever possibly get better. But I think I’m tired of feeling that way, and perhaps you are as well. Laying down fatalist tweet after fatalist tweet is its own form of fiddling while the world burns. It’s self-fulfilling defeatism. And so while I have every reason to feel helpless to beat back the current forces that put Trump in office and have helped enable his grotesque agenda — the electoral college, a revitalized and open white supremacist movement, foreign election interference, voter suppression, Citizens United, a corporatized political media, and the Democratic party establishment — I simply don’t believe that Bernie is as vulnerable to many of those prevailing evils as a lot of other candidates are.

This isn’t just me reading some imaginary tea leaves. All of Bernie’s inherent electoral advantages are already out there in plain sight. The only reason NOT to have confidence in Bernie is because you’ve been instructed not to have any. American voters, particularly on the left flank, have been conditioned to be as meek as the average worker bee daring to ask the boss for a pay raise. Now now don’t go asking for too much, you might scare some folks! The reason Bernie Sanders is both appealing AND formidable is because he has no interest in that meekness. He has no interest in being too careful. That stands in diametric opposition to Hillary Clinton, who remained professionally cautious throughout the entirety of 2016 out of disposition, obliviousness, self-interest, and because she had 538 potential campaign booby traps — laid down by both the opposition and by herself over the course of her career — that she had to dutifully avoid.

Bernie is primed to defuse pretty much any line of attack because he’s been frighteningly consistent in his views since roughly 1806.

Bernie does not have any traps to avoid. What are you gonna do, call him a fucking socialist? Uh, okay. He’ll tell you that he is one, and he won’t be shy about that admission. He’s primed to defuse pretty much any line of attack because he’s been frighteningly consistent in his views since roughly 1806. And he’s already shown he can float above manufactured scandals, the kinds that are the lifeblood of Republican electoral strategy. He even threw a clip of Trump COMPLIMENTING him into one of his campaign ads, and it worked somehow. He also knows that the single most important message to get across to Americans is Donald Trump Is Ripping You Off, an obvious truth that even weirdo Obama-Trump voters can understand.

None of the other candidates in the Democratic field can beat Trump like this, and the bulk of them aren’t really interested in doing so. That’s why they’ll all fall by the wayside. That includes Joe Biden, who should have been able to coast to this nomination but can’t, because, after all these years, he’s still a painfully bad campaigner. Bernie will best them all, and then Democratic party leadership will put more effort into resisting his nomination than they’ve put into resisting anything Republicans have done. This is because they know that Bernie winning would finally bring down the massive, destructive barrier that corporate Democrats constructed to isolate themselves from their own voter base and to keep themselves from addressing the urgent needs of so many people within that base. Bernie will tear down that wall, and those same corporate Democrats will either find themselves out of work or they’ll have to fall in line.

Whatever they choose to do, it won’t matter. Tough shit for you, Concerned Anonymous Party Figure Leaking To Politico. Voters will follow Bernie and, on a macro level, the fate of the Democratic Party will have already been decided. He will rebuild the party in his image, the fruit of decades of political toil finally ready to be harvested. At last, a turtle of a different sort rising to power. From there, Bernie will head to the general election and beat Trump, whom he already trounces in head-to-head polls. After 2016, I want every poll burned, its ashes used to help mix cement. But I don’t need to check Nate Silver’s dipshit Twitter feed to know that the majority of Americans fucking HATE this president and will gladly replace him once the chance arrives.

Here’s a story you may not know. Before he was elected president, Donald Trump wrote a book. This was the kind of ghostwritten, stump-speech-in-print polemic that every candidate dumps into bookstores as an overpriced bit of campaign swag. The working title for Trump’s book was We Will Win. The publisher was all in for it. If you’ve ever published a book, as I have, you know that when a publisher decides on a title, that’s the title. There’s no going back from it.

But Donald Trump was no ordinary author (not even an author at all, technically), and he wanted the name of the book changed to Crippled America. Despite handing Trump a seven-figure advance, the publisher acceded to that demand and went with Trump’s preferred title. The book was a flop, so much so that they had to change the title once more to Great Again for the paperback edition. That book’s failure has been lost to history because Trump ended up winning the election anyway. Detailed inside stories about the 2016 election night noted that Trump’s inner circle didn’t really think he could win, and neither did he. So perhaps he backed away from We Will Win as a title in a rare moment of caution: His constant need to not look like a fool besting his equally constant need to display maximum false bravado at all times.

Bernie Sanders has no such insecurities. He’s already said he’s winning this time around, but not in the cursory way that every two-bit candidate screams it out at rallies. (“We’re going to WASHINGTON, kiddos!”) No, he truly believes that this is his time, not because he’s being a prick (though he has been known to act like one of those on occasion). He simply believes that he has both the temperament and the rebuilt campaign strategy to bulldoze his way to the presidency. And he’s right. He’s the only candidate right now who continually stresses that you deserve your inherent worth, and more and more voters are responding to that. They know he gets it.

I did not vote for Bernie in the 2016 primary. I voted for Hillary because I liked her better (particularly when it came to gun control matters), and because I fell for the now-debunked electability myth. I have, shall we say, evolved in my views since that time. I don’t give a fuck about electability anymore. I don’t give a fuck that the U.K. just voted to become a recurring Benny Hill sketch. I sure as hell don’t give a fuck what cable news pundits think of Bernie, when they deign to mention him at all. I don’t need Joe Scarborough’s advice on this shit. In a Good Witch dimension, Bernie’s campaign parallels Trump’s 2016 campaign in that it can thrive in its own specific media ecosystem (including, so help me God, Twitter and Facebook), and every attempt by the mainstream press to either derail or discredit him only makes voters more interested in what he has to say, and more compelled to seek out opinions about him from less compromised sources.

I’m an American, which means I don’t like being told what to fucking do. And I’m not gonna close my eyes in anxiousness when I pull the lever in the voting booth this winter or next fall. That’s what all the shitty people want from you and me. They want you to be afraid to vote your values. I’m not gonna give them that luxury.

All my life, Democrats have been too shy to lead. They treat confidence like it’s a Pandora’s box they dare not open. Well, fuck all that. Hillary Clinton was confident that a lifetime of political maneuvering had earned her the presidency. Bernie Sanders, in a nuanced but vital contrast, is confident that a lifetime of standing by his principles has earned him sufficient enough admiration from all Americans to help him win that presidency. And he’s right. He will win. He’s not afraid to believe it, and you shouldn’t be either. Get your hopes up.GEN

What matters now. A Medium publication about politics, power, and culture.

Just a little addition.

F-Word Dilemma

There is a story of a woman who never used the offensive F-word. In her old age, she began to lose control of her brain, and she claimed that the word was always on the tip of her tongue. It was a continual struggle for her not to say it.

Her counselor said that because she had heard it all her life, her hippocampus (memory indexer for the brain) had filed it away, and made it a part of her long term memory.

“Despite our everyday impressions of forgetting, it seems likely that long-term memory . . . can store a seemingly unlimited amount of information almost indefinitely.”

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.
Semper fidelis

Shoveling can be disabling

Somewhere in the neighborhood of ten days or so ago, my Doctor of Nursing daughter decided to become a member of the Manual Labor force, whose main tool is a shovel. So much for the Florence Nightingale Pledge of the Nursing profession. An Umbrella Close-line base pole, No Problem!

After returning home from a trip to the ER several hours later, Arm in a sling, for at least two months mind you, we learn the cold facts of the incident. Son in-law, Jeffrey did send a text from the ER, ” in ER with Kathy, may have broken her arm”. “How” , was the wife’s response. “She fell off a shovel” “What the”, we say. We would soon learn the facts as mother goes to check on daughter.

Image result for spade
If one would stand on the two flat edges on either side of the handle pole , you are at
the nose bleed height of 18″ on the average.

I must take full responsibility for my daughter’s debilitating injury. For my daughters first eighteen years never once do I remember teaching and demonstrating “Shoveling 101”.

This woman, who is right hand dominate, fell off her shovel, to the right. In trying to break her fall with her arm under her side, she sustained a fracture of the R/Radius. Due to the human instinct to break a fall by outstretching the arms, the radius is one of the more frequently fractured bones in the body.

My first born will have many challenges over the next few months with her dominant hand in a sling. Writing, How to put her hair in a bun, washing one’s hands, driving. My goodness, can one even pick their nose? De-corking a bottle of wine, now that will be a challenge.

We are here for you Kathryn, just ask and we will be there. Fell off a shovel, really?

Image titled Prepare for and Exit a Cessna 172 in the Event of a Crash Landing Step 16
How to dig a hole.
If you’ve never dug one, you need to pull this up.

Proper Techniques

Proper Shoveling Techniques

Shovel Selection

Choose a shovel that is ergonomically correct – a shovel with a curved handle. These shovels help you to keep your back straighter reducing spinal stress.

For snow, consider a shovel with a plastic blade instead of metal– plastic is lightweight – isn’t the snow heavy enough?

Sometimes a smaller blade is better. You will not be able to shovel as much per shovel load, but the load will weigh less, which puts less strain on the spine.

Technique

Warm muscles work better. Take some time to stretch to prepare your body for activity.

Just like with a golf club, hand placement on the shovel handle is very important! Don’t put your hands (grip) close to one another. Create some distance between the hands. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift snow.

Think about good posture and maintaining the natural curve of your spine.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart to maintain balance. Try to keep the shovel close to your body. Bend at the knees, not the waist or back. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Lift with your legs, not your back. Do not twist your body, instead, step in the direction that you are throwing the snow or dirt. This will help prevent the lower back from twisting and alleviate any back soreness that you might typically experience.

Don’t throw snow or dirt over your shoulder! Go forward with it.

Fresh snow is lighter in weight – so clear snow as soon as it has fallen. Snow becomes dense as it compacts on the ground.  Wet snow is very heavy. One shovelful can weigh 20 pounds or more!

Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks to stretch your back and extremities.

Digging holes

Make sure that the shovel head is perpendicular to the soil’s surface when you push the shovel blade in. And if you can’t push it in with one foot, if you have to jump with both feet to drive it in, then you need a backhoe or a pry bar to dig this hole.

When you’re going to lift the dirt out of the hole, hold the shovel near the middle of the handle and use the upward momentum of lifting the soil out to throw it into the wheelbarrow or onto a tarp. Don’t be at the end of the shovel and don’t be down close to the head. Both cause strain on your back.

When you encounter roots, remember your shovel is not a pry bar, but it can be a chopping tool. Turn it around and cut cleanly through the roots that you encounter, and then lift them out of the hole into the wheelbarrow. Shoveling is all about keeping your back straight.

If you have injured yourself while shoveling or have any questions, give PRO Physical Therapy a call.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Dumster Talk

Throughout my life, I’ve lived in quite a few places. South Jersey was my home for the first eighteen years. In case you don’t know, everyone in New Jersey lives near an Exit, that Exit is off either the NJ Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway. Some folks way up north will quote an exit off I-80 which runs E to W from the George Washington Bridge to the Delaware Water Gap bridge at the Pennsylvania line.

George Washington Bridge from New Jersey-edit.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Bridge


So, after that bit of geography, the better part of my early years was spent close to exits #3 & #5 just off the NJ Tpk. And Exit # 4A off the Garden State Pkwy. Thanks to the United States Marine Corps, while stationed at the Earle Ammunition Depot in Colts Neck, NJ, I also lived a short distance off Exit #8 of NJ Tpk.

After graduation from high school, the Marine Corps moved me about to assignments in South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington, DC, New Jersey, Japan, and California.

I married my wife of 54 years while in the Marine Corps and upon discharge we resided in northern Maryland for a year before moving to Connecticut and ultimately a career with the Ct State Police, retiring in 1988.

Maryland Eastern Shore counties.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Shore_of_Maryland

Upon retirement, the little woman wanted to relocate to the northern Maine coast. As for me, I was looking to travel south to the Gulf Coast of Florida. We wound up compromising and found the Delmarva Peninsula and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

We were Yankees no longer, we now live below the Mason – Dixon line and are Southerners. There is a lot on conjecture as to the exact placement of those markers. Some folks locally say Mardella Springs has an original marker, others will tell you Delmar is the line of demarcation. In either case, we’re about 20 some miles south of that infamous line.

So, for the past 31 years, we’ve lived as Southerners. During that time, we’ve met some characters along the way. For this story, I’m calling the featured character Charlie.

Charlie lived in on a small wooded plot in a small trailer just off the main road that ran from Allen to Trinity, MD. This was not a terribly long stretch of road, only 3 1/2 miles to the old Trinity Church cemetery near our present home. Every Christmas and Easter someone comes by and places plastic flowers on two or three of the grave markers.

Christmas in July decorates the grave markers, no Easter changeover this year.

It’s been told that Charlie, back in the day, as they say down here, once was a store owner. Some kind of malady occurred in his life that caused him to give up the store and live a life of solitude., thus the trailer in the woods.

Charlie could often be found in the local country store sitting on an old wooden milk carton under a big fan. Charlie would be talking about the past with the store’s proprietor for the better part of a morning or afternoon, especially in the summer. You would always know when Charlie was there, his dog Brownie would be lying outside awaiting his return. Inside the store, lying about somewhere, was the resident Collie, Chief. He was the companion of the store owner and resident historian, who we shall call Butch.

When we first moved to Allen, since named Eden by the Federal Government and Postal people, there was no trash pickup or mail delivery. The post office was part of that general store and the Post Master or Mistress as in this case just happened to be Butch’s mother and he most often referred to as “Mother.” She went by a slew of names depending on who she was referring to her at the time. I always called her “Yes, Ma’am.”

Often while depositing trash at the “Transfer Station” one might run into Charlie. Growing up in New Jersey, we called them “Dumps” and would always make a “Dump Run” when making a deposit. I guess down here I just made a transfer, stuff to be used by someone else, I guess.

At times Charlie could be found conversing with the manager of the Dump, his name was Slim. Slim was there from opening to closing, watching over the three dumpsters, two for household trash, one for metal. There was no recycling back in those days, just household trash and NO construction materials were allowed. You were in big trouble should you transfer building Materials. Those had to go to the big Dump in Salisbury where you were weighed and had to pay a fee.

Often times, Charlie’s dog Brownie could be found in one of the dumpsters, looking for some munchies he was. You always had to examine before making a drop into the bin. There was a rare occasion when Charlie himself could be found in a dumpster. More than once this writer had to hold up the throw of a bag into the bin for fear of injuring a dog, stray cat or Charlie himself.

I would spend a lot of time chatting with Slim and Charlie from time to time. Slim was always up to date on what was biting on the hook in the local waters. With no Barber Shop in town, the Dump would often be a place to keep up with the local goings on, along with the Post Office and General Store of course. That old store made the best sandwiches I’ve ever tasted.

At one point in the past, old Charlie showed up at the Dump with a second dog. This dog was also brown. I asked Charlie what the dog’s name was, Charlie responded, “Brownie II.” How simple and appropriate I thought.

As time passed, Charlie appeared one day at the Dump, and the elder Brownie was not with him. I asked where the old dog was, and Charlie responded, “dead.” I wondered what happened? I asked Charlie and he replied, “Metalosis.” Not familiar with the term I asked, what is Metalosis? Charlie kinda chuckled and said, “The metal in the bumper of the car that struck him, what done it.

Life, South of the Mason Dixon Line, with the Rooster.

Bricks and Things

A couple we consider good friends, who live down south in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, were recently at a wedding in Leadville, CO. The wife of the couple is a fellow blogger, who goes by the handle as Merling Muse, life in the mountains. Were the husband a Blogger, it would have something to do with trains, I’m sure. They recently made a cross country trip to attend that wedding, and blog about it along the way.

The trip brought back many great memories of a trip Uncle Bob, (wife’s brother, who is no longer with us) and I made in 2010 via Rt#50 all the way. Miss you and that “First One Today” Bobby !

So, bloggers post, and those who get to read them can comment about that post. On occasion I get a bit wordy, My response to Anne was so wordy, I thought I’d steal from it and make it a post.

My response to Anne’s Blog

Our daughter Sarah was married on 7/2, in an Anglican church built in 1733, which sits on the bank of the Wicomico River. Bricks in the church were baked in the same kiln as a home we lived in for five years 20 years ago. They were shipped here by boat from Williamsburg, VA. A bit of Brick History, should you be interested: https://brickcollecting.com/history.htm

Mom helping daughter Sarah get ready for her walk down the aisle.

Mary Agnes and I have been to Leadville, and have long thought of returning for the train excursion. Mary Agnes was enamored with Molly Brown, thus the trip to the high back then. https://mollybrown.org/about-molly-brown/

We did take the train ride to Silverton that year. https://durangosilvertonrailroad.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw__fnBRANEiwAuFxETx5mCHb8ZdUybu40BWcIvcIeVb8SjGjsPQkvwL-Rk_I3gg4ymKeumBoCUWgQAvD_BwE

We have a granddaughter who graduated from USAFA, class of 2012 (Samantha) and for four years made trips to the Rockies. Brother-in-law Bob Romspert and I delivered Sam her car to her at the start of her junior year.

We used old Route #50 to cross the country and only hit an Interstate when we had to cross the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Great memories with a now departed companion of that awesome trip and our time together.
https://www.roadtripusa.com/the-loneliest-road/

For me, the highlight of that trip was stumbling upon Bent’s Fort.

Congratulations to the newlyweds Anne & John.

I Continue

Daughter Sarah, her beau Greg, daughter Kathryn, wife Mary Agnes and yours truly The Rooster, spent the better part of a week in San Antonio, TX not long ago. The reason, Sarah’s son, and our grandson Thomas, (Tommy) was graduating from Air Force Basic Training at Lackland, AFB. We also spent a couple of meals with nephew Noah, a 2018 graduate of the USAFA who is in Drone training. Here’s a site on the subject if interested: https://www.aetc.af.mil/Flying-Training/

As you read this Tommy is now at Sheppard AFB, Texas for further training with the Air Education and Training Command.

So there you go, something to read and possibly follow up on a trip of your own one day. There’s lots to see in this great country of ours. Get off the Interstate, travel the back roads and small towns and meet the people who make this country what it is. You might just wind up in Allen, MD one day.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

CBS Sunday Morning

Busy has gotten in the way of blogging lately and, of reading those blogs I’ve come to enjoy. For the past 4-5 days I’ve been catching up on my reading and am hereby posting a blog. My Anglican Priest, Foodie Critic, friend, http://diningwithdonald.com/ has kept me up on the food chain in Winnipeg, Anne Mehrling keeps me posted on her family and Maggie’s Valley @ https://amehrling.com/ As they say out west, “I’m back in the saddle again”.

There are numerous other bloggers who will take you on journeys in foreign countries as well as NYC and visitations to places one has no idea they even exist. So many interesting people with something to share. Just last week I learned how to do some planting from pots to earth. The Lord has certainly supplied the water of late to help promote that growth.

When time permits on a Sunday morning, at 0900 here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I’ll turn on the TV to “CBS Sunday Morning”. There always seems to be something that piqued my interest, this morning was just such a day.

On most Mondays thru Fridays the wife and I can be found spending time with Alex Trebek and “Jeopardy” @ 1930. Today Alex was a feature part of “CBS Sunday Morning”. Alex has been treated for stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer lately. If your interested, here is the link to today’s show.
https://youtu.be/_FFXdn1kQro

CBS Sunday Morning also featured a piece on Admiral William McRaven, https://youtu.be/_6hNIuaBo9w

Admiral McRaven gave a well known commencement speech at the University of Texas a few years back. The central issue of this speech was the making of your bed to start your day. Should you have a few minutes, fifteen (15) to be exact, here is that Motivational Speech @ https://youtu.be/TBuIGBCF9jc

If you want to start your day off right, make your bed.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.