Friday, May 2, 2008

Things Are Picking Up

Once I was an avid reader of the newspaper. I started reading the Sunday Comics pretty early. You could lay out the paper on the front room floor and follow verbatim a fellow on the radio as he read the comics. He didn't read the entire funnies section just the more popular ones such Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie, Li'l Abner, Prince Valiant, Dagwood and Blondie. From there I graduated to the Evening Outlook in Santa Monica. Then there were morning papers, afternoon papers, horse race results, special editions and several different publishers to choose from. There was probably a time as an adult that I could not perform certain bodily functions with out reading a morning paper.
Well it is now not that way, reading the newspaper just makes me mad, probably makes others mad too. Maybe that why so many lay in the driveway all day. Just finished reading the noir No Country for Old Men yesterday where a couple of characters in the book no longer read the newspaper. The main character in the story is the Sheriff of Sanderson, Texas. My mother was born in Texas and my Aunt Era was married to the Sheriff of Abilene. He lost the election there the year women got to vote. After that my mother always refused to vote, she never did. I also recently read a book by Jared Diamond where he mentions that when you have reach the age of fifty you have been around long enough to see significant changes that have taken place. So I have been there and done that. Some of these changes may upset you, cause you to be bitter and if you let them fester there is no healing.

Back at the start of the year I unplugged my dish for the TV (try it) and started to read again thanks to a gift from my smarty pants daughter. Really never had stopped reading it just now that my only TV is some NOVA and PBS occasionally so I have much more time to read.
What newspaper reading I do do comes via the Internet and there are news items there that can still make me mad. For example today’s air (missile) strikes by the United States against a terrorist in Somalia. There probably isn't much that I can do as an individual about Somalia and writing letters to my senators or congressman in my opinion is a waste of bandwidth. In Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson tells how he tried to communicate to those in Washington about the horrors in Afghanistan after we (US) started to use cruise missile there and he says it was a waste of time writing letters in protest, read the book, it is well worth the time. Using him as an example, that one person can make a difference, in my case although a very small difference a difference, I started following an old rule we had when we went to the desert riding or camping, always bring back more trash that you take out. It is very easy to do and some people will think you are crazy (maybe I am) but where ever you go just bend over and pickup some trash, dispose of it or recycle it. After a while your side of the street will be clean and you will have to cross over, travel farther and maybe someone will see you picking up and try doing it for themselves. "Monkey see monkey do", I said that not Darwin (another person that made a big difference).

Instructions to follow:
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