Wipe Your Feet, Leave Your Shoes On

I want to thank those who follow my blog, for taking the time to stop in and take a peek at what I write.  During the past several months I have received a lot of positive feedback from people I know and people I don’t know.  It is all welcomed, humbling and inspiring.  As I have stated before in this blog, my purpose in writing my posts is to inform you, make you think, maybe look at things from a different angle, and possibly even discover a few things about yourself or this world you may have otherwise not been aware of.  If you sometimes chuckle while reading, that’s a bonus.

As you can see by looking around my blog, I write about a wide variety of things.  I have been told there are some who think I have CNN on my television 24/7.  I don’t.  I don’t watch much television at all and when I do, it is usually for entertainment purposes to help me escape the news of the day.  I am very careful about any political piece I write because I don’t have the right to complain about the government in this country because I am not registered to vote.  I haven’t voted since the election that gave Ronald Reagan a second term.  I’m not registered because I don’t believe in the electoral college method of determining the outcome of an election.  I will not register to vote until the winner is determined by popular vote.  In my opinion, that ensures that each individual’s vote counts.  To me, that is a better representation of democracy.  I also feel it is a shame that you can only run for president in this country if you are rich or if you can raise millions of dollars to campaign.  It’s sad when there are people who have really good ideas and have the ability to get people to work together but they are unknown and unable to raise the funds to get their ideas across to the public.  I also believe politicians should volunteer to be in government and shouldn’t draw a salary.  These people are already guaranteed a pension on top of the money they will make in speaking engagements and book deals after they retire.  Term limits?  Of course there should be term limits!

I have the luxury of living in a paradise that my wife and I have created right outside the back door of our home.  We have done a lot of work to make our back yard a sanctuary that takes advantage of the Assabet River we live on.  Our yard is calming, soothing, and relaxes the soul.  Wildlife inspires me.  The phrase around our house year-round is always, “You never know what you’re going to see”.  We are invested in our natural habitat and each living thing is part of our family. 

Case in point:  Since we have lived here we are visited almost daily by a pair of Great Blue Herons.  They usually appear in the spring and leave around the first of the year.  We love watching these birds fish, fly, or simply stand around on the shore or in the water.  These birds are so majestic and skilled at what they do.  This year we noticed a third Heron hanging around.  It was a bit smaller than the other two, so we nicknamed him “Junior”.  A few weeks ago, Junior began to behave strangely.  He was parked in the same spot right off our shore for two days, barely moving.  We could tell something was wrong with it.  Kim made several phone calls to find someone who could come out and help.  Finally she reached the Animal Rescue League of Boston and they came to our property right away.  They were able to get the Heron out of the water, put it in a travel container, and they took the bird to Tuffts Foster Hospital for Small Animals

The Rescue League had determined the Heron’s wings and legs weren’t broken, so we were very hopeful for a full recovery for Junior.  We called Tuffts every other day for status updates on our little buddy.  Tuffts was able to tell us right away that Junior was less than a year old.  He received several stitches in his head from some wounds he had and they put him on pain medication.  The growing concern was he wasn’t eating on his own, and without that, he couldn’t be released back into the wild.  After about ten days we received the news we didn’t want – Junior had been euthanized.  The diagnosis was West Nile Virus, although not 100% confirmed.

Kim and I were really sad.  At the same time, we were very happy that we did what we could for Junior.  Wildlife is very important to us and it inspires me every day.  That is why we spend so much time shooting video of them, watching them through binoculars, or just staring in awe at them from our patio.  We still see the other two mature Herons every day and we are thankful for that, and we never take them or any other creature for granted.  We also don’t take the work the Animal Rescue League of Boston does for granted, and that’s why we gladly wrote them a check as a donation to their noble cause.  And by the way, you, too, should donate to any local organization in your area that helps any animal, whether it be dogs, cats, birds, any animal at all.  They are all part of our world and enhance our lives in many, many ways.

Sometimes I write about how the media has brainwashed the general public.  When I went to broadcasting school way back in 1982, I took a class in news journalism.  The first two things I was taught was objectivity in news reporting and one should report only the facts of a story.  The news should never manufacture news and it should never BE the news.  Sadly, with the cable boom, news channels popped up everywhere and objectivity went out the window.  While I was in broadcasting school I began noticing this phenomenon while watching Bill Bonds delivering newscasts on channel 7 in Detroit, the local ABC affiliate.  Bill was a respected anchor in Detroit, but he also had several escapades in his personal life off-camera.  As his persona grew, his objectivity began to wane, and soon it seemed newscasters around the country began latching on to his style.  There are serious news stories in today’s world, but an alarmingly high percentage of the news isn’t actually news worthy.  The emphasis is no longer placed on informing people.  Nowadays the top priority of any news reporting organization is to draw ratings.  Ratings sell advertising.  Advertising brings in the dollars that allow for insanely bloated salaries of reporters all the way up to network executives.  The Internet became popular and helped in the supersaturation of information into our skulls.  The end result is a society that has become numb to things that really matter in our lives.

In my writings I have mentioned several times about my disdain for the Internet which is pretty crazy because I am a web developer, and I rely on the web for my income.  In my opinion the Internet has made the world too small.  Yes, I admit it is an exceptional resource for research and information.  Being a web developer, when I get stuck and need some examples of code that can help me, I head right to the web and I always get results from it.  But the Internet has opened the door for a part of culture that used to be hidden away from site, banished to dark rooms and unlit alleyways.  It has damaged many lives in many ways.  Your personal privacy has taken a seriously big hit and your identity can be stolen from you right out from under your nose.  The Internet was originally designed as a tool to exchange information.  Just like Communism, its purest form is a very good model.  But also as is the case with Communism, it is easily manipulated into a vicious tool that damages more than just reputations or lives.  Believe me, some day, someone will find a way to reach into the global Internet stream and cause a catastrophe of proportions we can’t even imagine right now.  People have been working on the delivery of this catastrophe for quite a while now.

Sorry to be such a downer, but the world is what the world is.

I like to write pieces that deal with the human condition.  From the pain so many of us experienced when a Japanese family landed in America and got off their airplane only to be told their country was just hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami while they were in the air to the joy of celebrating a great sports heroe’s career and lifetime achievements after announcing his retirement from the sport he loved.  I wrote a very moving piece about springtime, baseball, and my childhood memories of going to games at Tiger Stadium.  I have mentioned on more than one occasion my intense hope for my hometown, Detroit, Michigan, to rebound from their economic hardship following the collapse of the auto industry.  My Michigan roots run very deep.  I have many friends and family there still, and I am proud to be from Michigan and I still consider it to be my home.  It seems when people who live here in the northeast travel to the midwest, they almost always comment about how nice people in the midwest are.  People in my home state are a hard-working, honest, and proud people.  I wish them the best of everything from deep within my heart.

One of my favorite things to write about is the need for people to take responsibility for their own actions.  I honestly believe that if people were to be conscious of this concept, our world would be a better place.  There would be less strain on the economic and penal systems.  There would be less crime, fewer handouts and a more content population.  Common sense, which isn’t very common after all, is also a topic I touch upon frequently.  My views are based on what I feel is common sense with a conservative slant.  I don’t think anyone could refer to me as radical in any of my beliefs.  But there may be times when some of my solutions to certain issues could be considered a bit extreme, especially when it comes to correcting politicians who take their office and the people they serve for granted.

The biggest reason I write this blog is because my dream is to be a paid writer.  That is where you come in.  Your comments, your word-of-mouth advertising and your support get me a little closer to achieving that goal.  People have been telling me since I was a teenager that I should write, that I have a gift.  This blog is my forum and my vehicle to getting where I’d like to be.  When someone loves doing something, they always have someone they look up to the most, no matter what it is they love to do.  Baseball players look up to baseball players who played the game before them.  Actors idolize actors from an earlier day.  Me?  My favorite writer is Mitch Albom.  He writes with a certain, distinguishable style and he writes with his heart.  That is what I try to do.

So again, thank you for stopping by and thank you for your input.  For each example I’ve mentioned here I could have provided a link for you to follow but I’d prefer that you take a little time and browse through the posting history or click on the category list over to the right and browse around.  There are what I’d consider some very good pieces in there that you might have missed, along with some that aren’t so good.  For those who have said you enjoy pouring a cup of coffee on Sunday morning and peeking into my blog, I thank you and I would appreciate you coming back soon!  And please, feel free to share your comments.  I respond to each of them as I receive them.  Feel free to subscribe to my blog by clicking on the Follow Unknown Quantity item on the right.  In doing that you can receive email notifications when a piece is posted.  As always, you can also receive the RSS feeds on your favorite home page.

Hug, Kisses, and free money for everyone!  And…GO TIGERS!!!  –  KDawg

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