It is that time of year. Birds return to the northern hemisphere, baseball arrives to take the mind of many off of their troubles for about 2 hours each game [as well as supplant 'March Madness'] and around here there is an annual fast. This begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday, midnight EST. In the case here, [as was mentioned to **** and a few others] it involes giving up eating red meat, soda and some other things. This year, that litany included fast food, fried foods, any snack bars that did not include dark chocolate…but what was on the acceptable list were fruits, veggies, seafood, low sugar or no sugar added food/drink. All of this under the careful supervision of TheRoyalBadnesses, which makes me happy that they care.[This along with encouragement from the people who I am close to via Facebook, Twitter and those who know me from the thrice weekly trips to the Kroger, Safeway and the 2x a month pilgrimages to Subway...along with the Tri-Met drivers I am a shrink for]. After all, they want their mom to be around, as opposed to being laid up in the hospital.
The other valid reason for doing this has to do with, in roughly 2 weeks after this is posted, I see Steve the cardio for the yearly. And I want to show to him…as you see in the pics here…that the diet has been held to. That the ‘riot act’ took and in spite of the conventional wisdom of some that such a thing is not being ‘authentic’, the benefits of doing so more than made sense. Granted, being in good shape means that when I do see my Iowa brother [if one lived in Minnesota for a while like I did years back, someone from Iowa is considered practically a relative :)] the conversation will be less about the numbers and more likely about the fact that the Hawkeyes did not make it out of the initial round of 64 this year. Ok, the Golden Gophers did not get close to that, but that is another issue LOL. Anyhow….if truth be told, the fact is that I enjoy the visits with him, as I do with the other members of the ‘Gang Of Five’. If for no other reason than the fact that they are on the level, honest and are not there in the office to hawk some agenda or another.
When the pics did get developed [yes you read that right] I was pleasantly surprised for a couple reasons. One being that while the film is somewhat old [2003 to be exact], it proved that what was mentioned in the ads, as well as the technical papers which are still up on the AGFA website, or available via the wayback machine…that the colors are still true. Amazingly true and balanced. The other was that like with the digital [AGFA as well *S*] the images showed that the work leading up to same was constant. Granted, with the digital, the color had to be saturated a little so that even the inbetween shades can show up a little better. Which is ok, the right software can help in this. But the work in before the images were taken is what I am really happy with.
Consistency is a good hallmark, especially if it means that one is doing what is in their best interests, the right reasons sans any of the rather negative influences that abound. It is those inluences that are troubling, if not downright disturbing. Not just on the visage front, there are those concerning how one is supposed to ‘think’ based on gender, race, religion…you get the idea. And if one does not do so…then one is picked on like this was back in grade school or worse is not even talked to. For example, let’s take the ‘groupthink’ issue. Orwell had mentioned in ’1984′ how this concept can be used to control the masses, so that no one is able to think or reason for themselves. [Another example could be gleaned from the runup and the end result of what happened in Europe during the middle of the last century...but I will save that history lesson for another time, let alone those who I tutor]. When the conditions are right, this type of ‘fog of war’ is able to settle in and cause a lack of rationality, as well as a lack of respect for others. Be it the ethnic background, their religion, gender and other collections of items. Some of the biggest practicioners of this rather ugly level of discourse are those who have taken up the quixoitic cause of ‘diversity’, yet via words or other displays are doing that in name only. Now one has to give these folks credit for consistency, in that, they are consistently showing that ignorance, intellectual dishonesty along with groupthink are alive and well. The shame of this is that this is germanating from the generation that had parents from the 1960′s. Put another way, possibility along with sacrifice [the latter being akin to the social contract where everyone is interconnected, etc] have gone the way of the Plymouth division of Chrysler.
There is a cure for this, which is no different than what a cure would be for the malaise that keeps the urban core of the US in such dire straits, that keeps some rural areas in postions where not much has changed in the past 2-3 generations. Something like Scrooge’s epiphany. Before someone says that this is a mixed metaphor due to the season, actually the epiphany in this case has no time limit or expiration date. It will require some to grow up, realize that in some cases, while their progress in employment or education was based on hard work, it was at times more often based on twisted forms of privilege. It requires some not to dismiss those of us who do speak out against the hypocrisy of diversity, as much as we have listened and witnessed these said same folks sgo stroke about their toys, the notches on the bedpost while engaged in ‘horizontal enrichment’ or how they were able to ‘game’ the system to have elective items performed [while others can barely afford to get a yearly exam]. It would definitely require levels of honesty that some may not have heard in a long time, if ever. This is something where, to quote Gene Kranz, who worked for NASA all those years ago…’FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!!’ Plus with more in this life to do and hopefully one day being able to meet those who mean a great deal to me, failing to be around for that courtesy of being illogical about the health is not an option.
Getting back to so good news, there has been that. For one, the family shop is still in business, even though some of the problems in terms of money would be enough for the Mets to claim a utility infielder off of waivers, it is still running. There is some media work that will happen in a few months, with the music under a couple of them thanks to Jim McCarty and Jon Camp from Renaissance. And these pieces are from the classic 5 era, which is a tribute to the musicianship then….something that still carries on, by the way. So there is that….
Also and this is not to sound like a parent [although I am beaming like one], the folks who I tutor are doing very well in their classes, projects and tests. I have never been prouder of folks in my life, due to the fact this is a legacy. What we have gone over, no one…NO ONE can ever take away from them And there will be a time when they will pay it forward. Not just to their own children…but to others. Not based on any agenda, outside of the fact that they will be passing on in a positive vein, knowledge that will help in the future and can in turn be passed on and on and on….
Before I close this out..if you have noticed in the pics there was an improvement in the image, this is a tribute to the folks I run with [To list would take the rest of my space here on WordPress, but they have, they are and they do have one hell of a style, each to their own] . Again…I cannot say enough about what does happen in the way of exchanging ideas and then seeing the end results of same. To be honest, they set a very very high bar. I am lucky if I can get within 1/256th of what I see on a daily basis when I log in. But through those inspirational pics, I try to to up the game here. It may sound a little like an odd tribute to my friends who live here in the US, as well as in the EU and Asia….but it’s a way of also saying that ‘y’all are showing how this can be done and this is to say thanks for leading the way’. No different than how things happen when I tutor.
So there You have it…..and as promised to a particular party…the new pics are here after the fast. Til next month’s ‘riot act’ *S*….from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.