When life hands you a cheeseburger, eat it.


Odd little bits of life pop up to remind us of earlier years.  Today was a Facebook page of remembering a city I used to live in.  About sixty years ago, plus a few years.  I never respond to FB things as it is usually not worth it and what I add it just a bit of nothing.  However, just now, there was a do you remember for something that was long after I left the city.  I had several remembrances of times when I did go to that intersection of roads.  At the time it was just a four lane and a two lane meeting at a traffic light.

Thinking back, I could smell and taste the French fries and hamburgers, sometimes when the tips were really big, a cheeseburger.  At the time I was a newspaper delivery kid.  I had a large route and I would wear out my bicycle tires, bearings and parts.  This is when I learned the difference between professional and consumer (current terms).  I wore out tires and bearings because of how much my bicycle was driven each day. My friends, without routes, did not have the same costs. I went to a bicycle shop on the corner of this intersection to buy parts and occasionally have “tune ups”.  The owner showed me the bike I should have and how it could handle the load of the newspapers and the miles ridden every day.

I saved up and bought the bike.  It made a difference and it taught me about the difference between price and everything else.  A valuable lesson that I owe to someone who knew their products. This was important when I next moved into retail camera sales, but that is for another bit of my life.

Curious as to what the intersection looks like today, I pulled up your ubiquitous map system, Google Maps, to see the change.  To my surprise, the bike shop is still there. Over sixty years and it is still in existence.   Wow!!!! (yes, the extra ! are worth it)  Very few mom and pop shops last this long.  And, to my additional surprise the site of the original McDonald’s is still there.  But it is now a Wendy’s. Back in the early 60’s a McDonald’s burger and fries was less than a dollar.  My weekly income from the newspaper route was about fifteen dollars, depending on tips.  (sometimes those dropped if I tossed a paper through some ones picture window or milk bottles).  I was making “good” money for a thirteen-year-old.

It is fun thinking back to those years.  Paperboys as we were called back then did a major service, we were professionals at a job.  Do I lament the passing of this job to those who drive around and toss papers into the muck in a ditch?  No. The world has changed.  May we accept that life is dependent on Chinese electronic tablets rather than U.S. pulp newspapers now.  But, making decisions for my work tools, bicycle, and my life expenses, a burger and fries, was way beyond that which more twelve and thirteen year old do, then and now.

May we think of freedom,

not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” Dr. Peter Marshall, United States Senate Chaplin.

There many times since my grandfather (paternal) died in the Eighties when I am happy he is not seeing what is happening to these United States. He was a deeply patriotic man, a good Roosevelt Democrat. He had some serious flaws, racist primarily. Overall a solid union man, middle class, blue collar American.

His brother, my great-uncle, was killed in WWI when a German submarine torpedoed his boat. That act deepened his patriotism, which fed to my father and myself. He was as anti-Communist as anyone. Although not a Republican (note capitalized R) he understood their beliefs after WWII. Now that the gqp is deeply aligned with a Communist dictator he would be revolted and ready to pound them into mush.

A church going Roman Catholic, he converted because his wife was, he believed in charity for those less fortunate. The heartlessness shown by the current republican party and supreme court would have him in tears.

After his discharge from the U. S. Navy he lived through the years of the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. He tried to reenlist in the Navy for WWII, but was too old. He had lived and seen why Social Security was created. That the gop is about to destroy the last eighty plus years and America would have him ready to fight again.

It is time to ask ourselves if we are ready to fight for our lives and America. We know the republicans are fighting to destroy everything. We have to stop them.

Children are now tyrants.

Children; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. They no longer rise when elders enter the room, they contradict their parents and tyrannize their teachers. Children are now tyrants.” Socrates

Having now wasted watched thousands of hours watching all sorts of video during the last twenty years, much of it recently on YouTube, I have seen hundreds of young people doing all sorts of things to have fun and earn money. Their diligence and creativity is wonderful. I have seen youngsters, under fifty-five types, working in arts, marine work, truck driving, buying abandoned properties and turning them into resorts, just about everything there is to do, they are doing it.

I hear so much about how they are sponging off their parents, they do not want to work, everything is handed them. Yup, ol’ Socrates foresaw this happening.

The kids are all right (I think I heard this sometime ago). The transformation of the world started a little of fifty years ago. I was a pioneer in the computer age which essentially began with the creation of the solid state processor on a chip. Massive integration put the components into a chip that could fit on a board. It was late in this period that the next computer age started.

The computer and Internet age that is. That was a little over twenty years ago. Before that was the new pioneer generation. They are total computer life. It is funny watching some of the videos when they come across something very strange and exclaim weird words. They do not have the vocabulary for much of what my generation grew up with.

Movie projector. Rotary phone. Telegram. Punch time clock. Carbon paper. Onion skin. Air mail. Pocket watch pocket. Green stamps. Hi-test. You get the idea.

What I have seen is them working in the new computer age. It is not the computer as a wonder thing. It is them working in a world in which the computer, either tiny and embedded or massive in a cloud, is just another tool, like a #2 pencil or an egg beater. They are doing what needs to be done to enjoy life and eat.

“Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation.”

Edward R Murrow regarding the war in Indo-China, the Vietnam War

A question worth asking, as the debate over leaving Afghanistan takes place, have things changed to where a presence forever in a foreign country makes sense?  I am all for leaving, but this is not like when the Soviets left a long time ago in the nineteen eighties.  At that time they were in Afghanistan for a different reason.

Although the Americans went in under the pretense of fighting terrorism, that was twenty years ago.  Americans went in roughly ten some years after the Soviets left.  Times have changed.  Back then the shell of the Russian world was collapsing under the weight of it actually being a step above a third world country. 

Today, we are looking at an ambitious country which is actually doing more than supplying weapons.  China goes into a country and improves it, but with a debt to be paid later.  The later payment date is having China pseudo rule it. 

Could we be back in the Cold War but with a different opponent?  Yes, I think we are.  China does have the cojones to do things the old Soviets could not.  And, they are doing it by not brutalizing the people during the invasion.  China shows up with a wallet.

Do we accept the unknown consequences of leaving the Southwest Asia countries without a presence?  Or, do we stay in one to provide a block to another political adversary? I see the question as one we need to ask now and be prepared for an answer we do not like. I would enjoy China adding its flag to the pile of invaders who thought it a good place to set up a military outpost.

We the People of the United States,

in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Having endured many days, most likely hours, listening to those who are the cult members, followers, true believers, of the former guy, I am hearing a few commonalities to their alternate world.

First, you have to ignore or deflect much of the garbage and alternate universe talk used to cover their true thinking.  There is so much about how President Biden is unable to speak or think due to severe dementia or some other mix of diseases; about how First Lady Jill Biden either talks for him (ventriloquist?) or tells him what to say (invisible on the podium?).  Add that he is forcing the U.S. into Communism, that is another discourse.  How the far left is running the country, I ask to name anyone and how it is possible with McConnell not allowing anything through the Senate.  And, much more stuff that is only possible in a universe far, far away.

Get past the horse apples of the cult members trying to change direction away from their leader and you find commonalities of their real issues.  The most important is race, anyone not Northern European Caucasian (brilliant white) is a problem.  The second is “those people” are getting free X (fill in the X) and “I am paying for them to do Y (fill in the Y)”. 

It all comes down to the Regan bull patties of Welfare Queens and race politics.  The common thread.  It comes from the delusion that they are supporting people who are getting away with not working for a living and living a better life for it.  The followers are jealous and believe those people are getting special privileges and getting away with not having to work.

Some of the jealousy comments I have heard are from people who are not working for a living, and have not worked for a living in years.  They are receiving Social Security Disability payments or state payments.  A few are retired but living the life of finding ways to be a victim in a victimless situation.  But something interesting to me was the spread of incomes.  From high income to low income, although we tend to think of a cult member as being lower income, that is not true. The belief that they are supporting lazy no good people is the common theme.

A final thought about the most common trait they have is they can bad mouth and say all sorts of nasty, vile and evil lies about any Democrat (espcially Biden, Clinton, Obama) but you cannot say one thing derogatory about the former guy.  Do that and they might do nasty things to you, and with any luck they might not talk to you again.