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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.
Columnist at GEN. Previously: Deadspin, GQ
Bernie 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.
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.”
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
For me, the highlight of that trip was stumbling upon Bent’s Fort.
Congratulations to the newlyweds Anne & John.
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.
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.
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.
This bit of news from France was posted on the “BBC” web site and forwarded to me by daughter Kathryn. I share it with you. Apparently, the young Fox, are not sly.
Chickens ‘gang up’ to kill intruder fox on a French farm
13 March 2019
Chickens in a school farm in north-western France are believed to have grouped and killed a juvenile fox.
The unusual incident in Brittany took place after the fox entered the coop with 3,000 hens through an automatic hatch door which closed immediately.
“There was a herd instinct, and they attacked him with their beaks,” said Pascal Daniel, head of farming at the agricultural school Gros-Chêne.
The body of the small fox was found the following day in the corner of the coop.
“It had blows to its neck, blows from beaks,” Mr. Daniel told AFP news agency.
The farm is home to up to 6,000 free-range chickens who are kept in a five-acre site.
The coop is kept open during the day, and most of the hens spend the daytime outside, AFP adds.
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Despite what you think, chickens are not stupid.
When the automatic door closed, the fox – thought to be around five or six months old – became trapped inside.
“A whole mass of hens can arrive together, and the fox may have panicked in the face of such a big number,” Mr. Daniel told the regional newspaper Ouest France (in French).
“They can be quite tenacious when they are in a pack.”
Rather than go with Sam’s “A Day In My Life,” I’m just plagiarizing, with her permission of course, and shall call it “Captains Two,” plus the four Greats. That will be Mia, Ana, Dax and Zoe. Enjoy the kid’s travels while in Europe for the next few years.
The Captain says:
Upon getting home from my work trip I learned it was time to pick up one of our two tables we had ordered. The table we would be picking up was in Northern Netherlands, or Holland, and was our new coffee table.
Kinderdijk was recommended to us by the man who built our table and we are so glad he did. The weather was perfect and the crowds were low. Dax and Zoe loved taking a vehicle ferry and then riding a boat to the windmills. One of the windmills we toured housed a single family of 14!
Next was another castle. Though the baroness was Jewish it survived WWII thanks to the wits of the staff left behind. They hid anything that could be taken off the walls in secret passageways. If they received news of German troops coming close they would begin to clean and manicure the grounds. When asked what they were doing by German troops, the staff would respond getting the estate ready for your leadership. Thinking their leadership was about to arrive, they did no harm to the property.
And finally it wouldn’t be a Davies Day Trip if we didn’t go out of our way to see Amsterdam and the dyke system that has reclaimed the lowlands of the Netherlands.
The longer we’re here the more we want to travel. This should mean more actual travel leading to more blog posts. Enjoy! -S
Where in the World?
As most of you know, granddaughter Samantha, Captain, USAF, currently lives in The Netherlands and works for NATO in Germany. It’s kind of like living in South Jersey and working in Philly, you just don’t need to cross the Ben Franklin bridge to get there. Sam’s husband, also a Captain, USAF and a pilot is stationed there with her. To maintain their family unit, their four children are there for the European experience as well.
Once again the lazy writer in me is using a recent post of Sam’s to share with you. I’m attempting to get a blog out every Sunday or Monday. Thanks Sam for making that possible this week. I’ll gather up an occasional picture or two and some links along the way. I’ve got to contribute something to the blog, right?
A Weekend Away
Zed and I had the amazing opportunity to spend a few days together in Europe. His parents were out visiting to help with the kids as I was away with work. Zed was gracious enough to drive me down and take the scenic route. In total we visited 8 countries in under 48hrs.
Our journey began in the Netherlands, as that’s where we live. We quickly entered Belgium where we passed through Liege, Bastogne, and Arlon. I love living in a place that holds so much history. When we first moved here we watched Band of Brothers to give us a brief history lesson. Then it was a quick stop through Luxembourg, which is smaller than Rhode Island.
France is where things became new. As soon as we crossed the border we saw the Maginot line, which I got no pictures of because my phone was away.
From that point on I always had it within easy reach and turned the auto camera function on. We were also greeted into France by seeing nuclear power plants. Their water towers are also some of the most unique I’ve seen (a funnel, a castle turret, and a mushroom). By this time we need some food. We like to visit the local McDonald’s to see what interesting things they have on their menu. We were let down, no unique menu items. Moments away from our next country we came to a border checkpoint. When they asked us if we had anything to declare I held up the McDonald’s bag and Zed said just fast food. I’d like to think we livened up the officer’s shift.
Switzerland was up and is a country of tunnels. In 2hrs we journeyed through a minimum of 20. I lost count. So far it has been the country Zed and I both agree we’d like to ex-pat to, if we were rich enough to do so. Their homes are unique and there are ranches everywhere.
The homes have huge roofs (guessing to manage the snow), numerous windows, and carefully decorated gables. They even decorate the under side of the roofs.
This is St Urban’s Abbey.
While in Switzerland we were also able to participate in a Latter Day Saint Temple Session. The Bern Temple was the first built in Europe.
Liechtenstein was a surprise for me. It was also our first passport stamp since being here, we did a few euros to get it. Our goal was to see Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein (from the movie A Knight’s Tale), instead we walked into their Carnival parade.
Now it was time for Austria. We ventured through a 8.5mi long tunnel that allowed us to bypass a mountain pass. One of the most interesting things we saw was a car from Swaziland. How it got there we’re still wondering. There were also wooden huts scattered throughout and we never could research a good answer as to what they were.
Germany brought us to the end of our journey. We stayed at the base of Neuschwanstein Castle and Zed dropped me off at my work location the next morning (another blog post will be coming on that). We were able to see the Zugspitze (the tallest point of Germany) and a few avalanches.
The trip was amazing. A great time to spend together and see new things. We were blessed with safety and clear roads both in weather and traffic. Enjoy the few pictures I took and stay tuned for more adventures. -S
NATO 101 with Sam and Zed
I had the opportunity to go to a course in Southern Germany to learn more about NATO and it’s interactions with different nations. I learned a ton, but the best part was having a class made up of 26 nations, and not all were NATO members. To learn how Ukraine views current world issues versus Denmark is just one example. Throw in my US mindset and a Dutch opinion and dinner conversation was never dull.
Part of the course allowed the opportunity to independent study. I used the opportunity to sight see.
My trip to the Disney castle was worth it. Unfortunately pictures inside are not allowed. It is worth the ticket price. Interesting note, the castle has been a museum since 6wks after King Ludwig’s mysterious death.
I also visited Kolfel mountain in Oberammergau, Germany where the story of Hansel and Gretel comes from. The story goes that a witch lives in the mountain and there are numerous documentations of kids going out to play and never coming back.
Oberammergau is a unique village situated in a valley. When the village was hit with the Plague the town promised God that if it would stop spreading and spare lives they would always do a Passion play. The Plague ceased and the people have put on the Passion play every 10yrs following. This is the longest running Passion play in the world. It has become so largely attended that only those born in Oberammergau or those who have lived there for a minimum of 20yrs are allowed to be actors.
The opportunity to learn more about my job, but also other nations perspectives is one I am so grateful to have gotten. Not bad to get it, and see Neuschwanstein either. -S
How did you sleep last night? How do you usually sleep? We all can answer these questions through personal experiences we have each evening. Some of us have done the rotating shifts in our career days, remember those 11-7 days? I personally remember some 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM shifts. They seemed to screw me up more than anything.
I’m always amazed when I’m flying somewhere and I look to an aisle ahead of me and there’s a peaceful soul, eye mask on, mouth open, a bit of spittle in view and dead asleep. “Really”? Why the hell can’t I do this. I’ve been across the pond to Europe a few times, England, Ireland and, Germany, should anyone be interested. I would be willing to bet I’ve had less than one hour of sleep collectively.
I recently got a new Fitbit. I track my steps, heart rate, for messages I get a buzz alert and the message scrolls across the Fitbit face. I’m kinda old, need cheaters to read and, never find my glasses fast enough to read the message, but it’s there. The thing will tell me my active minutes during the day, remind me to move periodically and give me a calorie burn.
What I find is the neatest thing is, it can track my sleep during the night and daily activity. It tells me if I’m awake, in Rem sleep, light sleep and, deep sleep. On getting out of bed this morning, I learned I was awake eight different times during the night. Bad weather, bad bones has been my nemeses for many years. Wasweather coming through the reason?
The below web site has a great video by Matthew Walker on the secrets of sleep. The video is a short five (5) minutes long. Hey, if it helps you gain a few more hours of sleep, take a look.
As for me and the Airplane, I’ve tried everything. I’ll stick to a Bloody Mary (1), a couple of movies and a three-hour nap on landing, to take care of the Jet Lag.
Have a great day, and, sleep well tonight.
Unless you live under a rock, it’s likely you heard about another mass shooting in America. Aurora Illinois, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
I recently read the following redacted E-Mail, just yesterday morning, actually. It certainly makes one think, or those that don’t, to wake up.
Our parish community has grown through the years, always attempting to meet the needs of our people of faith. In this day and age, with violence a part of our everyday lives, we find a need to upgrade our security for both of our churches.
This past weekend there was an alleged threat toward all Christian churches in XXXXX. The person of interest was identified and has been talked to by the XXXXX Police Department. Once hearing about the possible threat, we asked for the XXXXX Police to help us monitor the facility. We took the threat very seriously! There was a police presence at XXXXX Church all day on Sunday. The XXXXX Police, after a thorough investigation, has determined the rumored threat to be unfounded. We will continue to work with the XXXXX Police Department.
The rumor of threat alone was cause enough for our parish staff to take action to begin to develop procedures for future security issues. There will be individuals present at all masses who are familiar with the person of interest or credible threats on the property. Because of this incident and some previous incidents, the Parish has decided to form a security committee who can help evaluate and respond to future concerns.
What can you do?
- If you have the interest to serve on a security committee, please submit letters of interest to the parish office: drop off, mail or email to XXXXX
- Be attentive; see something, say something!
The well-being of our parishioners and guests in our churches are always a priority to us.
The following was printed in the on-line version of the Washington Post, I share with you.
A gunman opens fire in your building. What do you do?
What would you do if someone walked into the building you are in right now and started shooting? Through training programs and public awareness campaigns, law enforcement experts are asking people to consider this question so that they will be prepared to act rather than freeze if the unthinkable happens. Here are the basics of the “Run, Hide, Fight” program created by the Department of Homeland Security, with additional details from active-shooter survival trainers, law enforcement officers and a Special Forces veteran.
The first — and best — option is to get out if you possibly can. People have been shot while they froze in place a few steps from an exit door, said Scott Zimmerman of K17 Security. Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let their indecision keep you from going.
Choose a route carefully
Don’t run willy-nilly or blindly follow a crowd. Pause to look before you enter choke points such as stairwells, lobbies and exits to make sure you can move through them quickly and not get stuck out in the open.
Doors are not the only exits.
Open a window; if you have to break it, aim for a corner. See if the
drop ceiling conceals a stable hiding place or a way to enter another
room. You may even be able to punch through thin drywall between rooms.
If you’re trapped on the second floor, consider dropping from a window, feet first, ideally onto a soft landing area. (But if you’re higher than the second floor, the drop itself could be fatal.)
Be quiet and stealthy
Try not to attract a shooter’s attention. Remember that edges of stairs are less likely to creak than the centers. Stay low and duck when you pass windows both inside and outside the building.
If you can’t immediately leave a building or room, you want to buy time — time to plan another way out, time to prepare in case the shooter forces his way in, time for the police to arrive.
Don’t just lock them, barricade them with desks, chairs, bookcases — anything big and heavy. Wedge objects under them at the farthest points from the hinges. Prop or wedge something under door handles to keep them from turning all the way. Tie hinges and knobs with belts or purse straps. A shooter doesn’t want to work hard to enter a room.
Turn off lights, silence phones
Make sure someone has alerted 911
with as many details as you can about your location and anything you
know about the shooter’s whereabouts. Cover windows if you have time; if
not, make sure you can’t be seen through the glass.
Choose a hiding place
If you know you will hide and stay hidden, don’t count on particle-board furniture to stop bullets. Get behind something made of thick wood or thick metal if you can, or stack several layers of thinner material. Make yourself as small a target as possible, either curling into a ball or lying flat on the ground.
Make a plan
Don’t just get under a desk and wait. Plan how you will get out or what you and the other people who are with you will do if the shooter gets into the room.
This is the last resort, a dangerous option to be used only if your life is at risk and you are trapped with a gunman. Different situations call for different strategies, but all of these turn the element of surprise against the shooter.
Throw books, coffee mugs — anything you can grab. Make noise. Keep moving. A moving target is much harder to hit than a stationary one. Greg Crane, founder of the ALICE Training Institute, which has worked with nearly 3,000 schools, said that even children can be taught to move, make noise and distract so they can buy time to get away.
Some experts teach a Secret Service-style
technique in which people wait beside the door and grab the shooter as
he enters. At least one person goes for the arm that holds the gun, one
wraps his legs and others push him down. Using their body weight, a group of smaller people can bring a large man to the ground and hold him there.
Move the weapon away
Once the gun is separated from the shooter, cover it with something such as a coat or a trash can. Don’t hold the weapon, because if police storm in, they may think you are the shooter.
This is last even among last-resort options. The ALICE program doesn’t even suggest this for adults, and none recommend it for children. But if you try to fight, choose a weapon and aim for vital areas such as the head, eyes, throat, and midsection. Don’t quit.
Things you should know to prepare for any emergency
Have an exit plan before you need it. Know where all the exits are in buildings you visit frequently, not just the exits you use.
Keep “real” shoes at your desk so don’t have to sprint in uncomfortable shoes.
Know how to call 911 from your building — do you need to dial out first? Should a crisis arise, make sure someone actually calls.
Don’t use code words on PA announcements, and be informative with as many details as possible, such as “A man with a gun is in the library” or “There is a fire in the third-floor utility closet.”
Let someone know once you’re safe outside.
Try to keep others from inadvertently walking into danger once you are safe.
Sources: Scott Zimmerman, chief executive of K17 Security; Patrick Twomey, formerly of Canadian Special Operations Forces; founder Greg Crane and spokesperson Victoria Shaw of the ALICE Training Institute; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; FBI. The math of mass shootings
So, 14 February is a time for lovers. Go back in time to 1954, use some of these words by the Penguins when talking to that special someone. Live Long, Love, Be Happy and be Kind. The inspiration for this post came from a friend in England, Thanks Thom. https://theimmortaljukebox.com/2019/02/14/the-penguins-earth-angel-street-corner-symphonies-subway-psalms/
From: Brunssum Netherlands and my granddaughter, Captain, USAF, currently serving in Geilenkirchen, Germany with NATO.
In case you ever wondered what being a mom of 4 is like…90 handmade Valentine’s complete. 2 I designed and made from scratch. 2 I used someone’s design and then made from scratch.