Question

Why is the preferred method for silencing a barking dog to scream loudly (every time it barks) for it to shut up.  In so doing, most of the time, the owner is making more noise than the dog was… 

Just sayin’.

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Quotes I Like

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

William Shakespeare

Are We In the Twilight Zone?

Looking around the world in 2018, but especially here in the U.S., it’s like the Civil Rights movement never happened.  It’s like the Civil War never happened.  It’s like the Revolutionary War never happened.  Supposedly we fought and died to escape the tyranny in our homelands, and fled to a new land where we thought we could breathe free.  We didn’t have a problem with killing the people who were already here, and who took exception to our ‘illegal immigration’, but didn’t we learn anything from our bloody history?

I’m beginning to think not.  Maybe the Native Americans should have warned us this would happen, but would we have listened?  Just because our government repeatedly broke faith with them, why should we believe it would ever happen to us?

Until it has.

Why Do I Write?

On another blog (http://writertowriters.com/sometimes-wonder-write/) the blogger asked the question “Why Do I Write?”  I’m guessing all writers ask themselves that question at one point or another, and the answers likely are as varied as snowflakes.  It depends on what we want to accomplish with our writing, our circumstances in life and many other things personal to each writer.

The blogger, Walt Page Walt Page, included this among his reasons, and these certainly are part of why I write also:

“Writing makes me happy, makes me feel alive, keeps me young and keeps my mind active. I write because I am a writer.

Who I am, why I write and how I write will never depend on the judgments or approvals of others. I am, and always will be, a work in progress. I write for myself and not what I think people want to read.”

For much of my life, I’ve written fan fiction, in one world or another.  It began on paper (before computers), and was shared with friends in letters, or just for my own amusement.  Though I enjoy writing, I’ve never felt a burning desire to be officially published, with all that goes with that.  But I do enjoy sharing my stories with an appreciative audience, and the Internet has connected me to a much broader audience than I’ve ever known.

I’ve also discovered that I do well in writing Instruction Manuals.  This came into play at work when, unable to find an adequate manual setting down how to do things, I wrote them for myself.  Others noticed, asked to look at them and then wanted a copy of their own.  So I shared those.

Through the years, the vagaries and events of life have sometimes pulled me in other directions, and during those times I wrote very little.  It was while considering my job one day, and realizing that it held no mental challenge for me, that I noticed how far I had backslid.  Whereas before I could think of several possible words to describe a single thing, my mind was slowly becoming boring, single-word mush.  I’ve had an extensive vocabulary most of my life – I did not like it wasting away through lack of use.  So, I began writing again partly for the mental stimulation.

There are many reasons why I write, and sometimes they vary at different times in my life.

  1. To get instructions down in an easy to follow format for my personal use.
  2. To have stories that I want to read, when nothing I see “out there” appeals to me.
  3. And I like to play with words, create characters and situations, and breathe life into them.
  4. Even though I write for me, I enjoy sharing with any who are interested. But, if no one else is interested, I would still write for me, as I always have. 

I’ve never been much of a journal writer, mainly I suppose because it mostly is a detailing of what has happened.  Though it can be introspective, and I occasionally do that, it does not greatly interest me.  I want something more creative.  I want to discover the story.  I want to find out what happens next, because unlike some writers, I don’t always know that going in.  If I do know what the end will be, then I want to see how I get there.  And I want to get there in a creative way, not merely copy the tropes and plot lines that everyone uses.  A romance?  Okay.  We all know the basic idea – boy and girl meet and eventually fall in love.  They may encounter difficulty in getting there.  But why tell that story if I can’t bring something new to it?  I don’t want to rehash what everyone else has done – I want to find something new.  Some details may be similar or even the same, but there needs to be something unexpected or even I won’t want to read it.

What about you?  Why do you feel compelled to write?

[see:  https://millyschmidt.com/2017/09/05/why-do-you-write/ ]

Yes, I’m Angry Too

But that doesn’t justify any and every action.  Peaceful protests – yes.  Wearing clothing with slogans that counteract and object to what someone else wore – sure.  But bullying – no.

And that’s what we are starting to see.  Many people don’t like government policies, laws or even personnel, but we have no more right to bully them than we do to bully celebrities, people on the Internet, people on the street, our neighbors or our families.  Behaving as badly as they do is not a solution, folks.

Take a strong stand.  Speak up.  Organize peaceful protests to make sure you are seen and heard.  And, certainly, VOTE.  But publicly harassing people for things is wrong.  It affects not just them, but those around them (say, those people sitting nearby in a restaurant trying to have a quiet meal with friends or family).

If you don’t like the way a company conducts business, then withhold your patronage from them.  Don’t buy their products or visit their facilities.  Threatening them is not the answer.  Giving negative reviews is not the answer, either.  If you have never been to or made use of a company’s products and services, you shouldn’t be reviewing them.  If you did make use of their products/services, your review should reflect that experience – poor quality, poor service, etc. – not their politics.  Reviews are not the forum to express political opinions.

You’re not helping your argument that a person or group have done something objectionable when you attempt to harrass or bully them into acting as you wish.  It only reflects poorly on you, and is apt to backfire when others react with sympathy toward the abused.  When you act like the bullies, you become one of them.

And I Did Not Speak Out

Quotation from Martin Niemöller on display in the Permanent Exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Niemöller was a Lutheran minister and early Nazi supporter who was later imprisoned for opposing Hitler’s regime.

— US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The quotation stems from Niemöller’s lectures during the early postwar period. Different versions of the quotation exist. These can be attributed to the fact that Niemöller spoke extemporaneously and in a number of settings. Much controversy surrounds the content of the poem as it has been printed in varying forms, referring to diverse groups such as Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Trade Unionists, or Communists depending upon the version. Nonetheless his point was that Germans—in particular, he believed, the leaders of the Protestant churches—had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.

Only in 1963, in a West German television interview, did Niemöller acknowledge and make a statement of regret about his own antisemitism (see Gerlach, 2000, p. 47). Nonetheless, Martin Niemöller was one of the earliest Germans to talk publicly about broader complicity in the Holocaust and guilt for what had happened to the Jews.

Source:  extract from https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392

Hey, White House

I used to clean horse stalls for a living.  I recognize manure when I see it, and that seems to be all you’re peddling these days.  There has never been a more vile and contemptible government in America since the day it was founded on principles of moral decency.

(Sorry, about the ‘big’ words I’m using.  I realize you don’t understand anything much beyond first-grade English.)

Hidden Treasure

I’m an organizer.  And a listmaker.  This doesn’t just apply to one thing but to many – work, genealogy, books, music, video, food supply.  I make lists of what and where things are.  Why?  Because I hate rooting through box after box or cupboard after cupboard, trying to find where I put something.  It was long a family joke (well founded on facts) about my “map to under my bed”.  But it was true.  Boxes – numbered.  Then a list of what was in each box.  And it got even easier when computers came along so I didn’t have to do it all by hand.  The map told me where exactly the box was stored.  So, if I wanted something, I could search the computer list for it and go right straight to it, with minimal effort.

You can do the same.  It’s much easier to do it from scratch, but it can be done in hindsight if you tackle it a little at a time.  Before you shove anything into “storage” (a file folder, a box, a closet, a drawer, a computer file) put it on the list – then grow the list from there.  Add to it whenever possible.  If you have to dig through a drawer to find something, make a list of what’s there while you’re doing it.  [Computer files work a little differently – they get sorted into folders.]

Yes, people will laugh if they discover you have a map to your closet or under your bed, but you’ll have the last laugh when you can readily lay hands on everything you own.  And they can’t.

Uh Oh!

I think my auto-pilot is broken.  I got up to take the dinner dishes out of the living room and ended up with them in the bedroom.  Shouldn’t have listened when the GPS said turn left at the next intersection.