Sunday, January 19, 2014


When we are born, our clock starts. When we die, it shatters to be used by no other. The only thing given to us at birth is a certain amount of time on this earth. It is a reducing debit account with an unknown balance.

When we are very young we have little say in how our time is spent. Our parents nurture us in every way, acceding to our needs, yet our time account diminishes. With good parents, this varying amount of time is well spent in the formation of our bodies and our minds.

As we age, with a depleting time balance, less of our time is spent in the dictations of our parents, teachers, and other mentors, and more in the pursuit of our own desires.

The constitution of the United States guarantees us the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No person, no group, or no government can guarantee you those things. Your only guarantee is your remaining amount of time.  It’s all you ever had.

Since the beginning of the human race we have tried to divide time into recognizable segments so that we might structure our lives in an orderly fashion. It is time to eat. It is time to sleep. It is time to whatever. This is a misnomer. What we are really thinking is, beginning at this time I will use a portion of my allotted time on earth to eat, sleep, or whatever.

As most of us think of time, we associate it with our planetary system. It takes one year for our planet to go around the sun. Our planet rotates once each day. Our day is split into twenty-four one-hour segments, and our hour is divided into sixty minutes for no apparent reason. Why they are called this I do not know, but they have nothing to do with the passing of time. They only designate our perceived idea of it. Time continues to pass, no matter what we call it, or how we divide it. Time has nothing to do with our planetary system. It is merely a method that humans have devised to identify blocks of it. Time is forever. It never began. It will never end. It goes on incessantly. Only things change. Time is infinity.

When we have used up our allotted segment of time, our account is empty, our balance is zero, and our requests for more go unanswered.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Depression

On October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday, the American Stock Market crashed, bringing forth more than a decade of hardship, rough times, untimely deaths, and chaos.

I was born late in this period, but there was still enough want, need, and poorness to go around for the average family.  We lived on a small dairy farm in the far north of New York State, and even though we were off the beaten path, it was not unusual for stray homeless tramps to stop, looking for a meal no matter how meager, whether it be a free handout or most were willing to work at any form of labor for their repast.

There was a semi-permanent transient army of wanderers unable to find a way to earn a living, no matter how willing they were to labor at any honest undertaking.

My Uncle John was one of these almost hopeless gypsies spending many years riding illegally on freight trains from city to city always seeking a better life that never seemed to materialize.  He was somewhat like Hank Snow singing his song, “I’ve Been Everywhere.”  I spoke once of having lived in Lemoore, California, and John said, “Oh, that’s just down the road from Fresno.”  Another time I mentioned spending some time in Pensacola, Florida, and John said, “Yes, that’s where the main street is Palafox.”  Obviously he had been to both places, as he could neither read nor write, much less understand maps.

It seems to me that with the number of homeless souls on the streets of our cities at present, maybe we aren’t too far from those same times of nearly a hundred years ago.  When will our government start counting these homeless along with the unemployed?  Just because a million less are on unemployment, doesn’t mean they all went to work.  The only reason they’re not riding the rails is because the Railroad isn’t running either.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bird Feeding

As my wife is a bit under the weather so to speak I decided to feed her friendly flock of wild birds so I stuck on a cap and vest that was hanging on the wall.  Then, as she often does, she asked why I wore that vest instead of another vest.  After about two or three minutes of argument I finally convinced her the simple reason was that the one I had chosen was the first one I came to, and it was fine.  Then I donned my gloves and made it out the door as she yammered on about why was I going out in the first place?  I quietly closed the door leaving her to argue with herself about that one.

I then proceeded to the birdfeed container, and scooped out some for the pan on the porch, and tossed some over the side of the porch for those little feathered friends that like to eat on the ground.  Turning back to the feed storage can I scooped an entire pitcher full for the middle of the yard where the critters like to gorge themselves.  I carefully proceeded down the steps, knowing it was probably yet slippery even though there was snow on the ground.  Often a layer of snow on top of an ice base is even slipperier than without the snow.  The snow helps to lubricate the ice in case it’s not slippery enough to start with.  I got down the steps, and across the cement block at the foot of them.  I then proceeded across the downhill part  of the lawn as you leave the cement part.  All was well and good as I took little baby steps across that part keeping my upper body well balanced above my feet.

As I left the downhill section and started across the flat part, all of a sudden I was on the ground on my back.  For a couple of seconds I didn’t sort of know what had happened.  Then it came to me I had fallen, but I seemed dazed a bit.  I couldn’t remember how to get back up on my feet again.  I decided if I rolled over on my stomach that would help so I did that, but I didn’t seem to have strength enough to rise back up, and I was yet sort of dazed, and not too sure what I was doing.  Then I heard the door open and knew I should get up or the usual feeder of those little bustards would have a hissy fit.  Right then and there I was getting back to normal, ready to argue no matter what she said.  So I stood and proceeded to pick up the bird seed that hadn’t spilled and continued on to feed those dirty rotten vultures in the middle of the lawn.

Yeah, I’m okay, and how was your day?