Memorial Day Thoughts

I did the usual for Memorial Day weekend yesterday.  I visited the local veteran's cemetery as I often do on days such as Memorial Day weekend even though Memorial Day is officially today.  I visited graves of family long since gone over the years.  Having performed that duty, I took my four-year old beagle, Ralph, walking at a nearby park.  I'm not sure who enjoys that walk most, me or Ralph.  There were little American flags throughout the park in celebration of this sacred American holiday.  At about 1PM, everyone in the park went to the speakers platform.  Here speeches are made talking about the sacrifices of our troops, past, present and future, and how brave they are.  Politicians always make their pitches to vote for them at this time also.  I suspect they will be doing the same over the next few holidays that are upcoming on the calendar. Few people pay any attention to them.  I suspect that has a lot to do with the way people think of politicians these days.

I noticed yesterday that the one elderly gentleman, "Jim," of whom I spoke of in a post about three years ago was missing.  Jim is at every memorial for Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and D-Day Memorial services in the park.  But, he was missing yesterday.  That is disconcerting.  He was in his ninties.  So, maybe Jim has gone on to join those young men who died so many years ago on Normandy Beach that he spoke of so eloquently.  But, I will go looking for him today.  Maybe he forgot that the official ceremony for Memorial Day is always on Sunday.

Last night, I finished watching the final episode of "Band of Brothers" for at least the 20th time.  That is something of a tradition for me.  I worry about the future of our nation.  Our nation is undergoing a transformation from one that was brave, strong and proud, to one that is weak, spineless and timid.  Without mentioning any names, I think we can blame our political leaders for that apparent change.  I wonder if we will have the intestinal fortitude to do the hard things in life.  Will we still be the same nation that JFK described in his moon speech when he said "...we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard..."  Will we be that type of nation over the next 5 to 15 years?  I don't know.  I do know that the men who died defending this nation should not have died in vain.  We honor those men and women on Memorial Day because they chose to do "the other thing" so that this nation shall not perish from the earth.  It is those Americans who we appreciate on Memorial Day.


Free Pizza Discrimination?

In what appears to be another blatant attempt to stir up controversy. the Dallas (TX) based pizza chain, Pizza Patron, is going to give free pizzas to people if they place their order in Spanish, between 5 and 8 p.m. on June 5.  Andrew Gamm, brand director at Pizza Patron, defended the action by stating, "It makes perfect sense for us. We're trying to make our bond with the Hispanic community stronger."  I'm not a lawyer (and don't play one on TV).  But, it seems as if a black, or white person goes up to order pizza in spanish, will they be denied pizza?  The story does not address this issue. This Pizza Patron spokesman blatantly states it is intended for the "hispanic community."   That is a discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen if anyone, other than hispanic, places an order in spanish.  I only wish Pizza Patron had a restaurant in my area so I could organize a boycott.  This is the same restaurant that started accepting pesos in lieu of dollars back in 2007.  It just seems this company thrives on controversy at the expense of reverse racism and to fan the flames of a hot button issue, illegal immigration.  It appears to be working.  As long as it is discrimination against whites, hispanics seem to be ok with that.  Yet, start talking about denying any social services to illegal aliens and the "hispanic community" collapses in righteous indignation and grief.

No doubt, this is a promotion intended to stir controversy.  It may be that Pizza Patron is in such dire financial straits, they have no choice but to antagonize a large segment of citizens in this country. No idea if they are hurting financially. But, this is what a desperate company would do. I think it is despicable, but controversy does appear to be their motive.  Divide and conquer.  They sound like Democrats to me. 


30 Children with 11 Women

Desmond Hatchett:, 33, of Knoxville, TN, wants a break on his child support payments.  There is nothing unusual about that.  A lot of men want a break on their child support payments.  But, Mr. Hatchett's case is a bit, shall we say, unusual.  You see, Desmond Hatchett has fathered 30 children with 11 women!!!  Nine of those children were born in the last three years!  He is working a minimum wage job, trying to support 30 children on that kind of salary.  It's impossible to do.  In fact, I'm not sure he could support that many children on a $100K salary.  He has to turn over 50% of his salary to the court.  It comes out to about $1.49 a month for the mothers of these children.  As it stands now, Desmond Hatchett is struggling to make a living on about $400 a month.  He can expect to pay half his salary for at least the next 15 years...or more if he doesn't practice safe sex from this point.

I have no sympathy for Desmond Hatchett.  None.  I have no sympathy for the mothers who should have known there are consequences for actions.  Now the taxpayers of this country will have to pay for all those children fathered by Desmond Hatchett.  I do have sympathy for the children.  They will most likely live in poverty throughout their entire childhood.  I blame Desmond for that.  I hope he realizes that being the "Johnny Appleseed" of human reproduction is not all it's cut up to be.  My suggestion to Mr. Hatchett is to go back to school, learn a trade, skill or something to make more money than he presently is at a minimum wage job.  He's going to need all the money he can make for at least another 15 years.  Good luck, Desmond.  Not that you deserve good luck or anything else.


Cardiac Catheterization

I have a relative that was required to have a Cardiac Catheterization yesterday.  She has had trouble breathing for the past two months.  As a result, she was placed on oxygen bottles until they could come up with a solution to her breathing problems.  A Cardiac Catheterization (CC) is the insertion of a catheter into a chamber or vessel of the heart.  The CC is used for diagnostic and treatment purposes.  If they found a minor blockage that would have simply required a stent, it would have been done at this time also.  The CC procedure is not without risks.  My relative was told that there is the risk of a stroke or heart attack during the procedure.  The possibility of heart attack or stroke is rare during this procedure as she was informed by her doctor. 

Unfortunately, as my relative showed up for the CC procedure, she was told she was going to have to lay down, on a flat metal table, for a period of up to three hours, laying completely still.  That was not possible for my relative.  She was in a bad car accident ten years ago.  She still suffers from severe back, leg and pelvis pain, particularly the latter.  She is simply unable to lay on a flat surface for any period of time without severe sciatic pain in her left leg.  The pain takes her breath away.  So, at this point, it is unknown what she is going to do in order to have the CC procedure.  She desperately needs it in order to determine if it is her heart that has a blockage causing her breathing problems.  I will do an update on this once a determination is made as to what the doctors will do so she can complete the CC procedure.


Cops Bust Four-Year Old Girl

It's always nice to know Law Enforcement is doing its job. From catching drug dealers to murderers to little girls who don't return library books. Yeah, that last one is not a misprint. At least in Freeport, PA, you know that the cops are on the job and earning their pay. Four-year-old Katelyn Jageman’s books were due back to the Freeport Area Library on Oct. 19, 2011. Now, the date of this post is May 14, 2012. So, I imagine that is quite a hefty penalty to pay. The library did make several attempts to retrieve the books. So, library officials at their wits end turned the "case" over to the police. The police paid a courtesy visit to Katelyn to get the books back. No arrests were made.  At least, the article did not mention any.

The mother did take the books back to the library and apologized. According to the article, the late fee was about $81.60 which Katelyn owed. Fortunately, the "case" is now closed. The mother could have avoided all this by returning the books in the first place. She should have apologized (and she did). But, turning over a problem of overdue books to the police? I don't know. It just seems the police in Freeport would have better things to do.


Spam Comments

One of the problems I have had over the past two months, on this blog, is what I consider "spam comments." The comment itself is innocuous enough. Most times the comment is in general terms about what a "great blog" this is and other flattering comments. The problem arises when the person making the comment tries to sneak in a link to a company or business entity. That is strictly prohibited on this blog.

If you go down to the comment section of any post, you will see this posted in clear English; "**NOTICE: Any comments linking back to a commercial entity, be it a business, company or ANY for-profit site will be deleted. Blogs, non-profit organization links in comments are welcomed and encouraged." I strictly enforce that rule here. I will not let this blog become a "link farm" under any conditions. If you want to link from here, there is a method to do that. Hit the blue banner above for information on that. But, I will allow only a very few links. If they are not high quality sites, I will not accept the link. It's that simple. Placing a link on the chat box (below right) will only link back to the developer of the chat box. I've had a problem with spam for over a year. But, the last two months it has gotten much worse. I'm not going to allow it. If you want a link here, you now know how to do it. No freebies here. Once I see a link leading to a company, business or any for-profit organization, I immediately delete it.  I check every comment. ALL comments are held in moderation until I allow or disallow the comment to be published.

While I am on the subject, I must also address the many requests I get in email about "guest posting" on David's Musings.  Again, hit the blue banner above and it answers all your questions.  Am I charging too much for guest posts?  Yes, indeed, I am.  That is done on purpose to limit the number of guest posts on this blog.  Most of the requests for guest posting is to generate leads for a product or service.  That's fine with me.  But, you have to pay the price also.  I'm not cheap.  Please don't send me email to ask if I will make a post about an event or seminar in your area. Please don't ask me to post something on this blog because you think my readers will enjoy it.  I will not do it. Again, there are no freebies here. I get asked this about four or five times a week.  It is not fair to charge some people and not charge others.  If you have questions about links or guest posting, hit my email link just above my picture down below.  I'll be glad to help you.

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Retirement: The First Year

In my last post (Working after Retirement) I discussed the options available to you if you wish to work after retirement.  In this post (since I am on a retirement talk kick), I will discuss that first year of retirement.  By the time your first day of retirement begins, you should already be set.  That means you have your pension, CDs, Social Security (if age 62 or older) and hospital insurance if you not yet qualified for Medicare.  If you have not prepared, then you will find yourself in the middle of the Aesop's Fables;  The Ant and the Grasshopper.  If you are not prepared for retirement, I'll give you one guess who is the grasshopper.  But, let's think positive and assume you are ready for retirement.  The first week is going to be a bit enlightening to you.  In some ways, it reminds me of when I got out of high school.  I felt lost not having to go to school.  Not having to get up early to get ready for work is a welcome delight.  Taking that long awaited vacation to Hawaii, a cruise along the Alaskan shore, or wherever you want to go, it's there for you.  If you fish or hunt, you no longer have to worry about showing up for work.  You have time to spend with old friends and with family.  But, eventually, everything seemed to get old.  At least that is the way it was with me. 

There were times during my first year of retirement, I wondered what was I going to do with myself?  Sleeping in late gets old (which is about 6;30AM for this early bird).  You quickly discover there is not much to watch on TV during the day.  There is a modern, newly built Senior Center nearby.  I only know three people that go to that center.  I don't care for any of the three.  It got depressing to see so many old, lonely people there.  I did not want to wind up like them.  For many, this was the highlight of their week.  That first year of retirement, you start to wonder if you made the right decision to retire.  I found myself longing to go back to work after about six months of this "retirement."  In fact, I did inquire about doing just that.  I was told by Human Resources if I did come back (I got the feeling I wasn't the first to inquire about coming out of retirement), I would have to pay back all my retirement pay, some six months worth.  I'd be making about half of what I was making in retirement. So, that wasn't an option for me. To make matters worse, my wife (ex-wife now) and I started having real problems.  Problems that later led to divorce (as if life wasn't testing me enough). I started to feel sorry for myself.  I was retired, disillusioned, bored out of my mind, and on the verge of a divorce.

My wife and I separated during that first year of retirement.  I don't see how things could have gotten much worse.  I moved back to my hometown and found a place to live.  It was a lonely, unhappy existence.  Nine months after retirement, you'd think I would be enjoying myself.  That certainly wasn't the case with me.  After feeling sorry for myself for a period of time, I picked myself up, brushed myself off and decided I could either "...get busy living or get busy dying."  So, after encouragement from an old friend, I started helping him with his computer business.  I eventually branched off from him and started doing computer maintenance on my own.  I started getting enough customers to keep myself busy.  I also started to go back to my first love, during that first year of retirement, and that was writing.  After much soul searching and doubt, I got my novel published in October of last year in ebook format.  I've enjoyed modest success thus far.  But, my goal was to become a published author.  I accomplished that goal.  

Now, I'm not suggesting everyone will have as tough a year after retirement as I had.  Most people will fly by in that first year.  But, you will find that if you don't keep yourself busy after you retire, monotony will set in fast.  That can lead to problems.  It's funny in a way.  I planned precisely to be financially set during my retirement.  But, I did not plan on exactly what I was going to do with myself after retirement.  That is probably the reason I had such a tough time my first year after retirement.  I won't say that retirement was the major cause of my divorce.  But, spending so much time together did present problems.  I didn't expect that.  The first year after retirement can be as easy as you make it.  But, take my advice; if you are heading for retirement, make sure you also plan on how you are going to spend the rest of your life.  Find something you have always enjoyed doing and do it.  You don't know it now, but that is the best advice you will get for that first year of retirement.

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Working After Retirement

I know that a lot of people don't even think about working again after retirement. You have worked most, if not all, of your adult life. Working again after you retire doesn't make sense to some. But, for some retirees, working after you have officially retired is a necessity. I feel I am blessed that I don't have to work another 8-5 job after retirement (will be eight years in November). However, I do occasional computer maintenance to supplement my income. I also am writing and selling my books. In my case, I work when or if, I want to. I know a lot of former co-workers who do as I am presently. They work when they want to work. But, there are some of my former co-workers (now retired) who are not so fortunate. Some did not plan well. They discovered that the pension and Social Security is not near enough for a mortgage, utilities and other expenses in life. That is sad to me. I recall these same people buying more than they could afford during my working days. I also recall these same people going bankrupt. So, it should be no surprise these same people are suffering during their retirement years.

 I've met a lot of different people during my working after retirement career. While I am working on their computer or networking problems, they invariably ask me why do I work after retirement. My answer is twofold; Because I want to and because I can. Some people are not physically fit enough to even entertain the idea of working after retirement. I feel blessed to be able to have good enough health to keep working. This is the time in my life when I finally am doing a job I have always loved; writing. I love to write. Always have loved it. That is the good thing about retirement. If you want to do something you have always wanted to do, nothing should be holding you back. If you always wanted to go bear hunting in Alaska, you can do it (if you saved enough). It's great not having a boss any longer. I am my own boss. I work my own hours and decide on my pay (for the most part). So, working after retirement is great in my opinion. You get to do what you want or just sit at home watching TV. It's up to you. I personally like to keep myself busy. If I am not on a computer job somewhere, I am at home writing.

Now, if you want to work after retirement, there are many options. You may not be like me. You may not have computer skills or don't have the writing bug. But, you have some kind of marketable skill if you have come this far in life. The AARP has a good page that gives you ideas on jobs after you retire. On this page (click the link on AARP), there are even some ideas for home-based jobs. Another place you can search for jobs online is the Seniors Job Bank. Just do a keyword search of the kind of work you want. Then include the area where you live. There are plenty of opportunities for Seniors that want to work. As stated, the AARP has a page devoted to the best home-based work ideas. To you Seniors out there (and I assume you are here because of retirement) wanting to work after retirement, the opportunities are there for the taking. All you have to do is apply yourself.

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