’22 A To Z Challenge – I

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not that I’m stubborn.  It’s just that I’m usually right.  I am urged to consider others’ opinions.  I do!  I consider many of them stupid and unworkable.  My darling wife, whose vocabulary is limited to romance novel levels, would not call me

Intransigent

refusing to agree or compromise; uncompromising; inflexible
obstinately maintaining an attitude

Nor

Intractable

not easily controlled or directed; not docile or manageable; stubborn; obstinate:
difficult to influence or direct

I don’t think that I am smarter than others.  It is, perhaps, just that I pay more attention to reality.  I only have a high school diploma, and some work-related post-secondary training.  I am constantly amazed by the ignorance and misunderstanding of people with college and university degrees.

One day, at work, four of us were playing cards at lunch, and the radio played an advertisement referencing the legal code of Habburami.   Two of us perked up, and simultaneously shouted, “Hammurabi!”  A co-worker asked, “How do you know?”  I answered, ”Because we paid attention in class.”

Religion is not the only reason that people believe and say foolish, stupid things.  The education system in North America, more and more, resembles a sewage treatment plant, with about the same type and quality of output.  Something is rotten in the state of Denmark Mississippi, New Jersey, etc.

I am amenable to being honestly and intelligently guided, but I refuse to be blindly led.  I am willing – anxious – to change my opinion if I am offered solid evidence, and well-thought-out presentations.  I will not take seriously, any opinion, from someone who asks things like, “Do Atheists have children?” – or Flat-Earth-type fools who claim that, “Australia is a lie.  It’s not real.  If it was, (sic) people would fall off.”

Parents Of Kids Say The Darnedest Things

Pros

Don’t cast aspirations on her femininity – Cast aspersions, instead.

It continues to reside in the attack. – I had to go up to the attic, to research this.

He spoke a sort of pigeon Galician – This pigeon thinks it should read pidgin.

So, needlessly to say – It was needless to use an adverb instead of an adjective.

He built the viaduct that brought the water – Then it would be an aqueduct.

Mary had a little lamb.  Her cheeks were white as snow – And the lamb’s fleece was white as snow.

The horseflies left whelps with their bites – The young whelps had welts on them.

The squad debauched from the fort – This debauched author meant debouched.

The pilot waggled the plane’s wings for an instance – an instance where it should read, instant.

The company was marketing Santinism. – They weren’t marketing the correct spelling of Satanism.

Phone gets stuck in base guitar – It’s fishy that there’s no bass.

Businessman revels how he got rich – If I were rich, I’d revel, but I wouldn’t reveal how I did it.

He sniffed his depreciation of the idea. – I’d appreciate him using deprecation

The family fortune was dilapidated – and my patience with this usage was depleted.

Amateurs

The idea has gained some exposer recently – Police arrested the exposer for indecent exposure.

Believe it or not – I found a Belief It Or Not Christian video – not wrong…. just wrong!

They were forced to be reckoned with. – I was forced to write, “A force to be reckoned with.”

An elderly none came in – but the nun would have none of that spelling.

She was dancing in the isleI’ll tell you that it should be aisle.

Vacuums don’t cause autism – Neither do vaccines.

I pulled up the parking brake leaver – Well, leave ‘er parked, and look up lever.

Darwin advocated ‘Survival of the Fitness’ – The fittest of us know that’s not true.

It could justify killing or torchering – That spelling is torturing me.

One only has to take a looksy – to know that it should be a look-see.

I was going to lambest him for saying that – I’s like to lambaste you for using lambest.

I’m into essential oils and incest. – Does your daughter know about this?

‘The Office’ is a meaty okra show. – About as mediocre as that spelling.

She said she got a Bachelorette Degree – Blondie meant a baccalaureate!!

I have only lent in my pocket – because you gave up your dictionary for lent.

A term that attempts to draft on an air of coolness – I drank some cool draft while I looked up graft.

This woman had the gull to insult him – A little bird told me she had gall.

He’s got the saddle soars to prove it – Lets waft on over to where they are sores.

***

Now that I’ve had something to say about some things that other people say, it’s back to business as usual.  What??!  Ranting IS my usual?  I dare you to read this post and say that.   😉

Poles Apart

I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it.
Voltaire

America is lost, because of all the things that America already has lost – empathy, acceptance, sympathy, good manners, ego control, anger management, social justice, patience, understanding, and public civility and discourse.

It has become a nation of whining, exclusionist, pushy, cancel-culture, entitled, thugs.  The attitude is everywhere – in politics, religion and day-to-day social interaction.  The give-and-take is all gone, replaced by take! take! take!  They advocate #MeToo, but it’s all Me, Me, Me!

The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.

No-one takes the time to consider others as individuals, especially ones with valid opinions of their own.  Everyone else is just reduced to labels.  It is far easier to shout names at people, than it is to critically think.  Tribalism runs rampant.

Woke: a selfish ridiculous attitude towards anything, by people who feel undervalued and have the need to express themselves obnoxiously without regard for others.

Their guiding principal is “never let a crisis go to waste.”  Only in times of a pandemic, a national quarantine, or volatile race relations, can the new, upscale, leftist revolutionaries use fear to push through policies that no-one could stomach in normal times.

They hate dissent.  They try to destroy anyone who questions their media-spun hoaxes.  Truth is their enemy, and fear is their weapon.  George Orwell warned about 1984.  It’s a little late, but 1984 is upon us.

A hundred years ago, politicians referred to members of other parties as, The Honorable Member, or, The Respected Mister ….  They were Opponents – equals; they just didn’t want to do things ‘our way.’   Soon though, Honor and Respect disappeared.  Those who had been Opponents, became Adversaries.  In the 1960s and ‘70s, Adversaries became Enemies.  There’s no Go along, to get along.  Death threats are now the accepted form of political statement.

Over at the Temple of Peace, Love, and Acceptance, things aren’t any better.  A Christian College has been denied accreditation as a school by the Department of Education, rendering any diplomas invalid.  Their publicly posted mission statement clearly states who they will discriminate against.  An Op-Ed letter quoted the president, saying that he loved everybody, but would not accept that Catholics, Muslims and LGBTQ+ views were truthful, and then ironically demanded equality and fairness.  I was going to fire off a superheated rebuttal, but didn’t, when I realized that I could boil my reply down to two words.  YOU FIRST!!

There’s another Civil War brewing in America.  This time, it won’t be the North against the South – exactly.  It may become a schism between the Red States, and the Blue States, or the Bible Belt against the Quietly Spiritual.  I would hate to see that happen, because the only thing that keeps public culture safely in the middle of the social bell curve, is the fact that each side balances the other out.  If there’s a split, no matter which side you opt for, with the best of intentions, the brakes are off.  It’s a long slide down that slippery slope.

We’ve lost the ability to disagree with one another, without trying to cancel each other out. Woke is the new religion.  Statues come down, and schools must be renamed.  It is the ultimate conceit to apply today’s truths retroactively.   Quite soon, a Theocracy or Oligarchy will form, which will make Nazi Germany or Communist Russia look like a day-spa.  It won’t be pretty, kids.  Be careful what you wish for.  Pandora’s box isn’t quite empty.   😯

Sailor Smart

Some people will not be educated, no matter how hard we try.

When I attended high school, each year’s English class required that all students read six non-curriculum books.  You could pick them.  They could be about anything, but to prove that you had read them, you were required to submit a Book Report on each one – remember those? – fondly??

To prevent nerds like me from submitting them all in September, rules stated that they had to be spaced out.  A lad a year older than me, from landlocked Ontario, Canada, decided that he wanted to join the Navy, so he didn’t need to read no stinkin’ books.  Nearing the end of the year, he had managed to submit only five; although I think that a couple of them were based on Classics Illustrated comic books (Remember those, too?) – so he invented one.

Possibly using a reference to Herman Melville’s book, Billy Budd – Sailor, he gave it the title Sailor Smart, supposedly printed by a known school-text publishing house – number of pages and a plot précis – the story of a landlocked, Midwest boy who wanted desperately to join the Navy.  I’d have been tempted to let him away with his ruse, just for demonstrating such creativity and inventiveness.  The tough old schoolmarm, who made Archie’s Miss Grundy look like a kindly nun, spent most of an instruction period excoriating him, and demanded a real book be read and report filed.

He must have succeeded.  He graduated Grade 12, moved to Halifax, joined the Navy, and was never seen again.  Reading for enjoyment seems to be a Yes or No proposition.  My Mother read!  My Father didn’t!  I’ve known many intelligent, successful people who won’t read a novel, even when they could spare the time.  I just can’t imagine me without a book…. Or three.

I have seen many reading challenge posts.  I recently ran into this one.

In 2021, choose 6 books that have titles that contain a:

  • One/1 (ex. One Second AfterThe 100)
  • Doubled word (ex. In a Dark, Dark WoodWolf by Wolf)
  • Reference to outer space (ex. The Fault in Our Stars)
  • Possessive noun (ex. The Zookeeper’s Wife)
  • Botanical word (ex. The Language of FlowersThe Sandalwood Tree)
  • Article of clothing (ex. Bossypants)

The writer had read 12 books in a year, for a Goodreads challenge, but had read them all in the month of January, and then added 30 more by the end of the year.  I don’t understand the point of such challenges.  It can’t be to get people to read, because those who accept, already read – usually, a lot.  It doesn’t seem to be to get readers to read outside their preferred genre sphere, because you could pick books to satisfy all these requirements – in Romance, Sci-Fi, action/adventure, murder mystery, religion or political science.

In 2020 I read almost 40 books, from all the above varieties except Romance.  I checked them against this artificially concocted list, and found that I only had a match in (Maybe) three of the six categories.  No ‘ones’ or 1’s.  No doubled words.  Outer space came with Space Vikings, Star Rangers, Star Soldiers, and When The Star Kings Die – although both of The Expanse series, Babylon’s Ashes and Nemesis Games occur in outer space, but their titles don’t indicate that.

Possessive nouns returned with Babylon’s Ashes in hand.  The mystery Kevin: Murder Beneath the Pines provided the only botanical reference.  The requirement for an article of clothing might be satisfied, if you consider a gold watch to be clothing.

I refuse to obtain books just to satisfy some synthetic list.  I read what I find, that interests me, and Damn the Book Titles!  Full speed ahead!  How about you?  Would you buy/read just to check off some list??!

Conspiracy Constipation

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Would you blindly take a pill or vaccine without knowing precisely what was in it, just because a doctor or “Professional Health Practitioner” told you to?

YES!
You see this??  Education teaches you this in chemistry and biology.  Knowing this, why the fuck would you think that you know more than someone who spent years studying and learning, and actually knows what these words mean.

IT CONTAINS MORE THAN 4,000 CHEMICALS, AND HAS SPREAD INTO EVERY HUMAN BODY ON EARTH

Among its components are formaldehyde, acetone, ethanol, ketone bodies, dihydrogen monoxide, tryptophan, urea, dehydroepiandrosterone, Hexosephosphate P, and at least 20 kinds of acids.

Nearly every chemical constituent will, in certain concentrations, kill children and adults.

Chemical compounds within it are used in yoga mats, explosives, warfare, and industrial applications.

It is now so pervasive, that every human baby is born with high concentrations of it in his or her tiny body.

Healthcare workers, pharmaceutical companies, and governments conspire to spend Billions of dollars each year, to maintain or increase its presence in ordinary citizens.

IT’S YOUR OWN BLOOD – DUMMY!

Don’t be alarmed by words you don’t understand, or people who want to scare you on Facebook, because they’re bored or stupid, or both.  Read!  Understand!  Reduce the stupid!

Science! It reduces the stupid.

So, get your head out of your a…. Get the shot – both shots!  Wear the damned mask to protect you and everyone else.  It’s not wearing one that makes you look stupid – and selfish, and inconsiderate.  Soon we’ll be able to go back to Shoney’s for Early Bird Dinner.  Don’t worry – Be happy.  Trust the experts.  They really do know more than your cousin Shelly on Twitter.  😳

Flash Fiction #256

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

CHRYSALIS

His parents wanted him to go to university, or at least a Community College to learn a trade.  They were just so tight, so restrictive, so controlling.  He burst free from their bondage and got himself a great job at 18, with his own income, and promise of advancement.

A month later, he was smart enough to see that it was just a clerical dead-end, and a barely legal pyramid scheme.  He was also smart enough to tell his parents, “You told me so.”  Let’s have a look at the course catalogue at Conestoga College.  I could become a welder.

***

If you’d like to join the fun, go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

What If, It’s Another Challenge

I am awed and amazed at the number of people who read these personal-reveal posts.  Thanx, and here is yet another one.

21: Something you just can’t seem to get over
23: Something you always think “What if….” About

I’m not much one for navel-gazing.  I feel that I am not entitled, but rather, pragmatic, fatalistic, realistic.  What is – IS!  The past is in the past.  It’s over, and cannot be changed.  Deal with it!  Time and psychic energy expended in worrying about ‘What Might Have Been ‘, is lost and wasted.

There are many people, often with an overcharged ego and an excess of entitlement, who feel that if they work hard and apply themselves, get a good education, and make what they feel are the right decisions, then God, or Karma, will ensure them success in life.

IT DON”T WORK LIKE THAT!  The universe is supremely disinterested in any one person.  It is almost impossible to fare well in life without taking these steps, but doing so is no guarantee of success.  No-one is assured a smooth ride.  Nothing is God-ordained and meant to be.

When most people think about “What If” and something they just can’t get over, they imagine that some small change in the past would improve their life in the present.  It’s just wishful thinking.  I’ve had hardly any free times in my busy life to brood about lost potential opportunities.

A very few times, I’ve wondered, What if I didn’t have learning disabilities?  What if I didn’t have my essential tremor?  What if I didn’t have a sieve where my memory should be?  Would I have achieved a post-secondary diploma?  Would I have got a six- or seven-figure job?  Would I have had a great career-arc, and have lots of money?  Would I have ‘married better’?

Then I hear the little flutter that warns of the butterfly effect, and the heavy tromp of Karma’s boots in the hall.  If things had been different, would I have done any better?  Would I have had to spend so much time and mental energy getting my diploma and continuing study to master a trade – that I didn’t have time to study and appreciate the English language?

Would I have to rely on aides and secretaries to make my reports and directives literate and intelligible?  Would I have failed to learn to read for enjoyment – would I be incapable of composing blog posts, both of which now occupy me in my retirement?

Money can’t buy happiness, although it makes looking for it a lot easier.  Would I have married better, and would I have great amounts of money in savings and retirement funds, or would I have a string of three, successively-younger trophy wives, whose alimonies empty my bank accounts, and I live in a bachelor apartment till I die on the job, because I can’t afford to retire?

They say that you can’t cheat an honest man.  You can, it just takes so much extra time and effort that it’s not usually worth it.  Similarly, no-one wants to bother stealing from a poor man.  If the stock market nosedives, I don’t care.  If I’d been smart enough to make a lot of money, I might have been dumb enough to meet a Bernie Madoff, or a Nigerian prince.

Strive and struggle to make the most of what you can.  Accept the present, and face the future.  Don’t get a sore neck from looking back at what if!  Let sleeping dogs lie, and don’t trip over them.  My readers are my riches.  You can compound your interest by showing up again in a couple of days.  😀

Flash Fiction #250

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

THE LONG, SLOW CLIMB

When is a Starbucks not a Starbucks?  When it’s right across the street from the city hall, but in a building that’s designated Historic, on which they can’t hang any exterior signs.

He’d studied welding in Community College, till he found out about clothing fires, toxic fumes, and blindness from ‘welders’ eye.’  Waiting for his barista betrothed, he was soon as adept as any employee, and was quickly hired, himself.

COVID slashed their hours and income in half, but it did give him free time to study online, as a Civil Engineer.  Education is the best way up and out.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a visual prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Be Good – For Goodness Sake

Stupid – or Stubborn??!  Your call.

Many Christian Apologists, arguing against evolution, deny Darwinism because they believe that it supports a ‘Might Is Right’ stance that doesn’t fit with the ‘God Is Love’ picture that they like to paint.
Seems that the tribes out hunting game, making weapons of war, and raping their neighbors ought to have a genetic leg-up on those singing and dancing to their “gods” around the campfire.

Be Nice – Your Species Will Last Longer

If you’d like another opinion on why to be nice, click here.  https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/185318256/posts/294

British naturalist, Charles Darwin got it right, but a lot of Apologists get it wrong.  Most people assume that Darwin was talking about physical strength when referring to “Survival of the Fittest,” meaning that a tougher, more resilient species will win out over its weaker counterparts.  But what if he didn’t mean that at all??!

He said, “It is not the strongest, or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.”  Charles Darwin

Scientists Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, both researchers at Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, believe something else has been at work among species that have thrived throughout history, successfully reproducing to sustain themselves, and it has nothing to do with beating up the competition.

Their new book, Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity, posits that friendly partnerships among species and shared humanity have worked throughout centuries to ensure successful evolution.

Species endure – humans, other animals, and plants – based on friendliness, partnership, and communication.  People think of it as strong, alpha males who deserve to win.  That’s not what Darwin suggested, or what has been demonstrated.  The most successful strategy in life is friendliness and co-operation.  We (some of us) see that, again and again.

The first question a recent caller to an Atheist podcast had was, “Who took care of the first babies?”  When the answer was, “Their mothers took care of them.” he just laughed and said, “Yeah, right, but who took care of the first babies??”  The host explained that hominids and most other mammals, as well as most birds, and some reptiles, tend and rear their young.  “But a baby can’t even wipe its own butt.  Who took care of them?

After almost five minutes of this “Who’s On First” routine, I realized that, for his understanding of Evolution to be true, at some specific point in time, some or all ape mothers stopped giving birth to baby apes, and started giving birth to baby humans. (Not that there’s that much difference)  The answer is still the same.  Their mothers took care of them.  Has he never read “Tarzan the Ape Man?”  Probably only the comic book version.

When it became clear that neither side understood what the other was saying, he took off in another direction.  Do you believe in DNA?  Of course we believe in DNA.  Well, DNA is a code, and if you have a code, then there must be a code-maker, and that has to be God. DNA is not a code in the way you are referring to it.  Well then, you must believe that fully-formed adult humans just crawled out of a pool of DNA.

It was at this point that the hosts decided that he must be an internet troll, because nobody could be this stupid and uninformed of scientific theories and facts.  I think that they gave him WAYYY too much benefit of the doubt.  The current state of education, especially in the US, and particularly among the willfully ignorant Christian Apologists, means that people like this are far too common.

Despite not knowing what they’re talking about, there is NOTHING that they won’t seize, and present as a gotcha ‘proof’.  One recent unintentional comedian claimed that the head is the home of our intelligence and our spirit, which we use to “know,” and ‘worship’ God.  We are born head-first…. Therefore GOD exists.  😕

Since almost all mammals are born head-first, as well as many birds and reptiles (pecking their way out of their shell), I wonder if he means – and is okay with – hippos and wombats and tortoises, “knowing and worshipping God.”

I am G.O.D. and I can prove that I exist.  I expect a little more worship from you in a couple of days.  Blessed is he who likes and follows.

I’ll Drink To One-Liners

I always take life with a grain of salt….
….And some lemon – and tequila.

The French have actually developed a COVID19 vaccine….
….But it’s refusing to work.

A newborn Blue Whale is the second biggest baby in the world….
….Right after people complaining about having to wear masks

Someone tried to tell me a COVID joke….
….But they were wearing a mask and I didn’t catch it.

I wanted to tell you a COVID joke….
….But you’d just spread it around.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you….
….But it’s still on the list

The problem isn’t that obesity runs in my family….
….It’s that nobody runs in my family.

Maybe if we told people that their brain is an app…
….They’d want to start using it

I got a new pair of gloves, but they’re both ‘Lefts’….
….On one hand, that’s great, but on the other it’s just not right.

I just got kicked out of a secret cooking society….
….I spilled the beans.

6:30 is the best time on a clock….
….Hands down

I got fired from my job as a set designer….
….I left without making a scene

A dung beetle walks into a bar….
….And asks, “Is this stool taken?”

My friend tried to explain electricity to me….
….I said ‘Watt’?

Are people born with photographic memories….
….Or does it take time to develop?

The World Champion Tongue-Twister got arrested….
….I hear they’re going to give him a tough sentence

Pollen is what happens….
….When flowers can’t keep it in their plants.

Communist jokes aren’t funny….
….Unless everybody gets them.

Geology rocks….
….But geography’s where it’s at

I buy all my guns from a guy called T-Rex….
….He’s a small-arms dealer

My friend’s bakery burned down last week….
….Now his business is toast

If you don’t pay your exorcist….
….Do you get repossessed?

When the cannibal showed up late at the buffet….
….They gave him the cold shoulder

Fighting for peace….
….Is like screwing for virginity

A ghost walked into a bar and ordered a shot of vodka….
….The bartender said, “We don’t serve spirits here.”

A blind man walks into a bar….
….and a chair….and a table

The first time I got a universal remote control, I thought….
….This changes everything

I saw a sign yesterday that said, “Watch for children”….
….I thought, “That’s a fair trade.”

Whiteboards….
….Are remarkable