Monthly Archives: July 2010

PERSONAL OBSERVATION ON A PERSONAL MATTER.

 

Tobacco being an expense and not having gotten any unemployment for the last five weeks.

This morning I was reduced to digging out a relic, my dad’s pipe and a bag of tobacco.

Fortunate for me my son-in-law has better taste in pipe tobacco then dad did and the bag was left by my son-in-law.

The pipe really is a relic, twenty years ago my dad had broken his pipe and I was smoking a pipe then.

So I had given him one of mine, since I had about ten different pipes I was really into smoking a pipe!

Well this morning I load the pipe and started to light it when I noticed I was having trouble.

The bowl seemed out of line and turning away from me.

I finally took it from my mouth and looked it over, dad had done his remodel on it!

He liked straight stem and I like to have a downward bend, he had done some craving and then taped it to suit him. The problem was he was right handed and I am left handed.

Being in my right mind often sets me at the mirror image of how everyone else does things.

Left justified instead of right justified, once I moved the pipe to the other side of my mouth everything seem to line up just fine.

Does that ever happen to you, something that once belonged to a parent and it was passed down.

But it brings out a difference between you and them?

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Filed under family, Just Plain Fun, Life Lessons, memories, You know you're getting old when . . .

Saturday, 7/31/10, Public Square

Be who you are and say what you feel,

because those who mind don’t matter

and those who matter don’t mind.

— Dr. Seuss

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Filed under The Public Square

“I’m in love with her and I feel fine!”

“I’m so glad, that she’s my little girl!

She’s so glad, she’s telling all the world.

That her baby buys her things, you know.

He buys her diamond rings, you know.

She said so!

I’m in love with her and I feel fine!”

The Beatles – “I feel fine” – 1964 – Lennon/McCartney

What could be better than cruisin’ down the road in the summertime, windows down and the wind blowin’ back your hair (if you have any left) and the radio cranked up to blast out one of your favorite tunes.

When you hear one of those songs that you instantly recognize from the opening riff and you just have to reach over and turn up the sound, you just know that a little part of your youth has come back to life.

For me, “I feel fine!” is a song that I know the moment that I hear John Lennon’s familiar feedback guitar. It is a signature riff – the first recorded use of feedback on a record. The song is credited to “Lennon/McCartney” but it was written by John. With Beatles songs, you can pretty much tell who wrote it by who sings lead vocals.

The Beatles are gone. John and George are dead, Ringo recently turned Seventy and Sir Paul buys “Just for Men” in 55 gallon drums. The music that they left us, however, will live on forever.

And so life goes on. As each day passes, we creep a moment closer to our date with fate. Life goes on, with you or without you. No matter how hard we mash our foot on the brake pedal of life, we cannot slow down or turn back time.

But we can turn up the radio for our  old favorite songs and blast out the tunes that helped define our lives.

When I am feeling down, nothing brings my mood back faster than listening to that good old rock ‘n’ roll music that I loved in days gone by. It truly doesn’t matter what it is – Stones, Beatles, Detroit rock music, the British Invasion or Motown – my blood flows again with renewed vigor and my foot starts tapping out the beat.

For each of us, there is that song, one that brings back memories of the “good old days” or that lost love.

What is yours?


William Stephenson Clark

36 Comments

Filed under American Society, Music

Friday, 7/30/10, Public Square

Think the people in this household agree on who to vote for in next week's primary?

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Filed under The Public Square

Annie, get your gun!

So, what to do? You’re at a BBQ with a mixed bag of friends, some liberal, others conservative, and the conversations are beginning to drag. What to do? Well, you could suggest a game of “pictionary” or some lawn bowling. Or you could just stand in the middle of the patio and loudly make this statement:

“I am a Democrat and I believe in gun control!”

Suddenly, your dull, lifeless BBQ will come to life! Maybe not in a good way, but it will be much more lively.

I am a confirmed liberal Democrat and I earned my bona fides long ago. That having been said, I am a firm defender of the Second Amendment. There are several reasons for this.

One, is that I support the Constitution of the United States. We are to be a “nation of laws” and the COTUS is the supreme law of the land. There are reasons that it is so difficult to amend the Constitution.

Two, virtually every legal gun owner is a law abiding citizen that respects firearms and uses them properly.

Three, gun control laws do little or nothing to reduce gun violence. In some studies, the legal carrying of a firearm has been shown to actually reduce some crimes.

I am a legal gun owner and a legal carrier of a firearm, even though I choose not to carry most of the time.

Truthfully, guns are not the cause of violent crime in America. The high murder rate is due to a “culture of violence” not the “gun culture.”

Guns are tools, examples of fine craftsmanship and even works of art. They are only dangerous when used in an improper manner. Responsible gun owners keep their weapons from the reach of children and teach their children gun safety.

The focus on reducing gun violence should not be on the gun it’s self, but on the culture that breeds gun violence. Gangs, drug trafficking and poverty are the reasons for gun injuries and deaths, for the most part.

Gun control laws generally just become a nuisance to law abiding gun owners. Certainly I am for background checks, but much beyond that, gun control laws are mostly “feel good” laws that do little to achieve their well intentioned objectives.

Cain killed Abel with a club. Today, perhaps he would have capped him with a 9mm. Regardless, he would still be dead. Throughout history, be it a club, spear, sword or a gun, man has figured out a way to kill his fellow man.

Banning guns will do nothing to change that.

Now, the patio is open for discussion………………………………….


William Stephenson Clark


45 Comments

Filed under Gun control

Thursday, 7/29/10, Public Square

2 Comments

Filed under The Public Square

Homosexuality Part III

I am a straight white man, so my view of discrimination is only what I can observe or read about. The closest that I have come to experiencing discrimination was in my “Hippie” years, when my long hair prompted an increase in attention from the local gendarmerie.

Perhaps it is because of that, or maybe in spite of that, I have little understanding of the thought process that leads to discrimination. I don’t think that I am in the minority, yet I see anti-gay marriage constitutional amendments regularly passed by seventy percent margins.

Truthfully, I do not understand that level of bigotry in a country that makes a claim of being “a beacon of freedom in the world.” Perhaps most hypocritical to me is DADT.

“You can fight and perhaps die for our freedom but you just sure as Hell can’t have any of it for yourself?”

It has been often said that discrimination against gays is the last acceptable form of bigotry. That is pretty close to the truth. Anti-gay rights people and politicians have a host of excuses for their bigotry that they can hide behind.

“The Bible says being gay is an abomination!”

“I am not anti-gay, I am just for traditional marriage!”

“Gay sex is so disgusting!”

Well, gay sex may be disgusting to you, but it is not to those that practice it, and, by the way no one asked you to join in. The Bible, Leviticus in particular, makes a lot of rules that are not regularly followed. When was the last time you heard about someone being stoned to death for working on the Sabbath? When is the last time you read about a man selling his daughter into slavery?

Leviticus is the often quoted passage for being anti-gay rights, but choosing that verse and ignoring the others is strictly hypocritical. So is quoting  Corinthians, written by the so-called St. Paul, who many biblical historians think was gay himself.

Using the Bible to justify discrimination is a direct contradiction of the words of Jesus who said:

Love your neighbor as you love yourself

Does that not mean, also, extending to your neighbor the same rights that you too enjoy?

Ironic, that a 33 year old never married man, that traveled the country with twelve also single males and a female prostitute, would most likely be considered by today’s Christians to be gay.

Hypocrites, one and all.

Thoughts?

William Stephenson Clark

147 Comments

Filed under GLBT Rights