National Parks and Monuments versus Golf Courses and Oil Rigs

The absolute GALL!

Ends and Beginnings

park-oil“As families prepare for summer vacations in our National Parks – Democrats threaten to close them and shut down the government. Terrible!” – Donald Trump tweet 4-27-17

I got to be honest after reading this tweet and knowing about the executive order he just signed (see below) I am at an absolute loss for words.

“President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday calling into question the future of more than two dozen national monuments proclaimed by the last three presidents to set aside millions of acres from development.

In asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for an unprecedented review of national monuments, Trump may force a question never before tested in the 111-year history of the Antiquities Act: Whether one president can nullify a previous president’s proclamation establishing a national monument.

Signing the executive order at the Department of the Interior Wednesday, Trump called President Barack Obama’s creation of national monuments an “egregious abuse use of…

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Got Plans Saturday?

 

Look out any window
Look out any open door
Look out any window
See what’s going on in the world around you

“Look Out Any Window” -Bruce Hornsby

Songwriters
HORNSBY, BRUCE / HORNSBY, JONATHAN

Published By
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., NORTH STAR MEDIA

 

Save the earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate!

– a magnet on the refrigerator at our house

 

Alright, look. I can put my opinion out there of all the ways I think this new administration is screwing up our country (and there are many, I believe), but for me, the mistakes with the most far-reaching repercussions have to do with climate change.

In case you weren’t already aware, over 90% of the world’s scientists agree that climate change is real, and that it is man-made.

Now, I know, on countless other issues, there is plenty of room for debate from either side, but when over ninety percent of the scientific community – people who know about these things – is in agreement on this issue, I sit up and take notice.

As should we all.

Unfortunately, we have a President who is on record saying that climate change is “a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” and recently signed an executive order loosening regulations on fossil fuel industries.

(Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2014) I rest my case, Your Honor.

Not only that, we have the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on record saying that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming, and who recently said in an interview the United States should exit the Paris Agreement.

Makes you wanna just yell at ’em, doesn’t it? Well, you may have the opportunity to actually do just exactly that.

Because this Saturday, April 29th, the People’s Clmate Movement will conduct its fourth annual People’s Climate March on Washington, D.C., as well as “Sister Marches” in cities all across America.

The People’s Climate Movement and March originated in 2014. As world leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23, 400,000 people took to the streets of New York the prior weekend to demand swift and decisive action regarding the climate crisis.

(Oh, and this wasn’t going on just in New York. Over that same weekend, 2,646 events took place in 162 countries around the world.)

This Year, the big March is going to be in Washington, D.C., right on President trump’s front porch. (AND, on his 100th day in office!) But, if you can’t make it there, don’t worry; there are plenty of events scheduled nationwide.

Go to https://peoplesclimate.org/ to learn more about the history of this movement, and find out where the nearest event is to you. You can RSVP to show up or, if you prefer, you can make a donation. Either way, I invite you to participate.

Myself, I plan to attend an event in nearby Dallas, to join my voice with voices all over this country and broadcast our concerns for the long-term survival of mankind on this planet, because that is exactly what’s at stake.

Oh, yeah, one more thing: share this with everybody…you…know.

 

 

Savior (a set of lyrics)

 

I see you there in that cold, dark cell,
Silently suffering your personal hell.
Nothing but darkness before your eyes.
No one can hear you and your helpless cries.

The weight of the world, you feel in your bones.
You feel abandoned, completely alone.
You tell yourself, this must be the end.
But, I’m here to tell you, you have a friend.

Just reach out your hand, I will take hold.
I’ll be your savior from the dark and the cold.
I’ll show you sunlight and blue skies above.
I’ll show you compassion, and I’ll show you love.
I’ll show you love.

I know this world can break you in half.
You hide your crying behind jokes and laughs.
You’re certain that no one is hurting like you.
But, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there, too.

So, reach out your hand, and I will take hold.
I’ll be your savior from the dark and the cold.
I’ll show you sunlight and blue skies above.
I’ll show you compassion and I’ll show you love.
I’ll show you love.

I’ll show you love.

Mental Health Gets the Royal Treatment

 

From the Associated Press:

“Lady Gaga Joins Prince William’s Campaign”

“Prince William has enlisted Lady Gaga in his campaign to persuade people to be more open about mental health issues.
“The heir to the British throne released a video Tuesday in which he speaks with the pop star via FaceTime. Lady Gaga, who last year spoke out about her struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, places the call from her kitchen in California, and William answers at his desk in Kensington Palace.
““It’s interesting to see and hear from you how much having that conversation has really made a difference to you,” William said in the video. “It’s so important to break open that fear and that taboo which is only going to lead to more problems down the line.”
“The conversation is part of the latest blitz by the young royals as they campaign to end the stigma associated with mental health issues. William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, along with his brother, Prince Harry, have made mental health a focus of their charitable work.
“It comes a day after the Daily Telegraph published an unusually candid interview with Harry in which the 32-year-old prince acknowledged that he spent nearly 20 years “not thinking” about the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and that he only got help after two years of “total chaos.”
“Though the royal family has toiled for years for hundreds of charities, the work on mental health represents something of a departure – in part because of the taboo long associated with psychological issues…
“The Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM, said research shows that men particularly have trouble telling others when they feel depressed. (Italics mine)
““Prince Harry sharing how he needed support to cope with losing his mother shows both how normal it is to go through a tough time and how much opening up can help,” CEO Simon Gunning said in an email.
“Lady Gaga brings even more attention to the cause. She told Prince William in the video that talking more openly about mental health would let people feel like “we are not hiding anymore.””

Kudos to Lady Gaga, and especially Prince Harry, for talking about their battles with mental illness. Kudos also to Prince William and his wife for focusing on removing the stigma associated with mental illness.

I’ll say it again, guys: depression is a mother*****r. It’s bigger and badder than you, and if you try to deal with it alone, you’re gonna lose. Even a British Prince realized he couldn’t rise above it without help.

And I know one big reason a lot of us don’t get help is that stigma we all attach to mental illness. It means you’re a looney tunes, off-the-rails wack job, doesn’t it?

No, fellas, it doesn’t. I used to think it did.

It simply means that a part of your brain is not properly functioning due to a chemical imbalance, and it can be medically treated. I know; I take medications now to help restore the balance and, I promise you, they make a difference.

And, psychological help is beneficial, as well. I know we have these Freudian nightmares of lying on a couch in someone’s office discussing our childhood bed-wetting incidents or whatever. It’s just you, and a professional, in a safe environment, simply talking about what’s bugging you, and figuring out why together. Like, in my case, we’re getting to the bottom of why I’m so freakin’ irritated all the time. It may take a while, but it’s something I need to do in order to avoid doing serious harm to myself or someone else.

I know this is getting a bit long, but it’s really important to me that you guys understand there is nothing wrong with getting help. I’m gonna keep saying it, so just get used to it, okay?

In fact, I’m gonna be a Royal pain about it.

Refill on that Large Buttered (urp)

 

Okay, film fans, here are some more favorites of mine:

Big Bad Mama – I saw this movie on my fifteenth birthday. You talk about making an impact…you coulda hung ten hats on me when I walked out of there.

Rocky – I’ve been to only one other movie that had the audience this much into it. We were all cheering for Rocky at the end, and even though he didn’t win the fight, he went the distance, and he had love, and we cheered that.

Halloween – My all-time favorite scare. This was the other movie that had the audience all in. We all SCREAMED at this chick to “Get out of there, HURRY!!!” Why don’t they ever listen?

Airplane! – Unapologetic nonsense from start to finish; I loved it. Steven Stucker, as Johnny, absolutely stole that movie.

Arthur – Sentimental favorite. My wife and I saw this on our first date. The theater we saw it in is long gone. So is the restaurant where we had dinner, and the mall we walked around in until we went to the movie. But we’re still here!

Sophie’s Choice – I can hear my wife exclaiming, “Why?” The only reason I include this one is because it has the distinction of being, by a wide margin, the SADDEST movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Unless you’re really, really happy, don’t watch this one.

The Silence of the Lambs – An up-close look at two horrifying personifications of evil. Anthony Hopkins, at his Oscar-winning best. Same for Jodie Foster.

Schindler’s List – This one’s sad, too, but ultimately, a very uplifting story of one man’s compassion in the face of such unspeakable evil. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece.

Saving Private Ryan – Spielberg’s other masterpiece. World War II as we’d never seen it before. Outstanding cast led by Tom Hanks.

Liar Liar – I love Jim Carrey, and I love him best as this manic lawyer forced to tell the truth for a day. Hysterical!

Jerry Maguire – I’m including this movie for just one scene: Jerry’s “You complete me” declaration of love to his wife. The most romantic scene ever, for my money.

One Hour Photo – Best work Robin Williams ever did, in my opinion. It was like watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Positively creepy.

Sling Blade – Outstanding writing, acting and directing, all by Billy Bob Thornton. Mm-hmm.

Brokeback Mountain – Yeah, some folks made a big deal of two cowboys in love, but it was a very heartbreaking story, brilliantly acted by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. After watching this and The Dark Knight, I am convinced that Heath Ledger, were it not for his untimely death, could have ended up being the greatest actor ever; he was that talented.

Citizen Kane – As a noted philosopher once said, “Boring beyond belief.” I did sleep through this one. In 1998 (and again in 2007) the American Film Institute listed this movie as the greatest American film ever made. Shows what they know.

Oh, there’s so many others, but you know what? I’d love to hear from you, now. What are some of your favorites, and why? Let’s get a roundtable going here; this’ll be fun!

Oh, and for those of you who observe, Happy Easter this Sunday!

See you at the movies, as they say.

One Large Buttered, Please

 

It’s occurred to me: one thing I haven’t shared on this blog is my lifelong love of movies.

From the time I saw my first movie at age six, I’ve been a big fan. I appreciate how books allow you to use your imagination more, but it’s more of an investment of time, whereas a movie only demands, on average, a couple of hours.

And, on a huge screen, in a theater with several large speakers, the whole audiovisual experience just overwhelms you. For those couple of hours, you’re totally captivated. You, and an audience of complete strangers, which usually enhances the experience. Together, you laugh, cry, cheer, scream, jump or, in some cases, sleep.

So, here’s a list, in no particular order, of some of my favorites; some that I really enjoyed, or that made an impact on me in some way:

Mary Poppins – First movie I ever saw. (first one I remember seeing, anyway) It was magical; live action and animation played together, and I loved it.

What’s Up, Doc? – Still the funniest movie I’ve ever seen. Barbara Streisand, Ryan O’Neal, the late, great Madeline Kahn, and plenty of slapstick, laugh-til-it-hurts comedy.

Young Frankenstein – Close runner-up for funniest movie. Director Mel Brooks at his hysterical best. The whole cast is hilarious.

The Sting – My all-time favorite. Because it pulled off the neat trick of making the audience members believe they were in on the con, and when they found out at the end they were conned, too, they weren’t mad about it! Slick.

The Godfather, Parts I and II – Part III gets an honorable mention, but it doesn’t approach the quality of these two masterpieces. Even to criminals, family means everything. So many great performances, with Marlon Brando and Al Pacino at the front of the pack.

The Birds – To this day, any time I see several birds congregated together in one spot, I think of this movie. Some images just stay with you.

The Odd Couple – Another great comedy, with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau both owning it. Terrific writing from Neil Simon.

Jaws – Waited over an hour in the hot Texas summer sun to get in to see this movie. Absolutely worth it.

Star Wars – Another long, hot wait. Again, totally worth it. This was completely unlike any outer space movie I’d seen before. The special effects were amazing!

Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Watching that enormous mother ship rising over Devil’s Tower on a big screen, there wasn’t a jaw in the whole theater that wasn’t on the floor.

The Deer Hunter – The most nerve-wracking and, in the end, moving film about the Vietnam war, and its aftermath, I’ve seen. Robert DeNiro and Christopher Walken are incredible. Also, early in her career, a great performance from Meryl Streep.

Platoon – Another Vietnam war movie. You know how, when people walk out of the theater at the conclusion of the movie, you’ll hear them having random discussions – that was great, that sucked, where are we going for dinner, blah, blah, blah?

When I walked out with the crowd at the end of Platoon, I heard…nothing. We all shuffled out like zombies, in complete silence, thoroughly stunned at what we had just witnessed. I’ll never forget that.

 

Well, there’s many more, but I think we’re gonna have to have a sequel, so this doesn’t stretch out forever. So, be on the lookout, and you can turn your cellphones back on, now.

It’s Already Been a Year?

 

Well, well, well…

Here we are, exactly 365 days from when I sent my first post out into the great big blog universe.

Flew right by, didn’t it?

To say this last year has been interesting is, of course, a colossal understatement. Of all the years I could have started writing, I picked the year that up became down, left became right, sweet became sour, and that guy…became President of the United States.

Yikes.

I should have known, in a year when the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Cubs won championships, that anything could happen.

 

From the start, I knew this wasn’t going to be the type of blog that brought together several people with a common interest in one specific subject. This wasn’t gonna be a blog about cooking, or fashion, or auto repair, or nuclear thermodynamics. Although, I could easily have gone with that last one. (kidding)

No, I just had the nerve to think someone might be interested in my observations on life and current events.

And to my shock and bewilderment, some of you are (!!)

Admittedly, for a while, I was discouraged by what I thought was a paltry number of viewers and followers of this little blogsite, compared to some other blogs out there that I like.

However, upon the realization that there are approximately three bazillion other bloggers out there (give or take a few), all competing for your eyes, I’m actually quite fortunate that anybody at all found me.

So, I’m very grateful to all of you who decided to stop and look in on my site, and especially grateful to those of you who have become “followers”. (Ugh, I just sounded like Jim Jones. Sorry; I promise to not make you drink any Kool-Aid.)

And, a big shout out to all the bloggers I’ve discovered, and now follow. You keep me comin’ back!

I reckon I’ll just continue writing, as long as I have something I want to say, and as long as someone out there wants to read it.

Peace and love to you. ❤️

Oh, one more thing: Sean Spicer, just shut up!!

 

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Camera

I love this woman.

She’s an anchor on an Australian newscast who realizes just a bit too late she’s back on the air. Her reaction is priceless:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/apr/11/abc-newsreader-natasha-exelby-taken-off-air-after-television-blooper-goes-viral?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Just a little reminder for everyone (especially myself), we all goof up sometimes.

Only, it’s not usually as funny.

P.S. – I wouldn’t fly on United if I were you.

The Driver Takes a Detour

 

So…

I had my first session this week with a new therapist.

And, if you’ve read enough of my blog, you know I don’t mean physical therapist.

In case you don’t know, I’ve lived with depression for several years. I’ve seen a therapist before, for about five years, but stopped nine years ago, when she retired. (Early onset Alzheimer’s, bless her heart) A lot has happened between then and now, and I feel the need for help again. Besides the medications. The need to talk to someone, and maybe get some help for dealing.

So, here we go. I’m starting again with someone new. She seems nice enough on first encounter. Hopefully, the two of us can crack my head open and let all the toxic waste spill out, and wade through it as we work to solve the cryptic, perplexing enigma that is yours truly. Wish us luck; she’ll need it.

And, dudes, let me take this opportunity to tell you again what I’ve told you before: It is not a weakness to admit you need help. I know we’re men, and we’re just supposed to handle everything, but believe me, depression is bigger and badder than us. Plenty of male suicides in America prove it. Mike Wallace, the toughest, most badass newsman ever, couldn’t handle depression on his own; it nearly killed him. Then he sought help, and got it.

There is no shame in getting help. You get that? You don’t have to face this monster alone.

I’m reaching out. I know I need it. Please, guys, (and girls) reach out with me. Help is there. You can get it.