Movie Worth Watching – Black Panther

If you can, Black Panther is well worth your time. One of the best thought out movies of its genre in a long while. Story flows, and you are sold on the story line in the first ten minutes.

If you have heard negatives about Black Panther, they are probably wrong. I know Conservative Radio claims the movie, Black Panther, “Aggrandizes Black Women”, like there is something inherently wrong with that thought. In my opinion, it is a small thought put out there for small minds,

Let me know if you enjoyed Black Panther. I am sure you will.

Social Isolation and Indifference is Killing Our Children

No picture today… This post is a plea about School Shootings and Teen deaths. Stolen from Wikipedia, this is their list of school shootings in the United States in the last few years:

“2018, 14 February – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school shootings – (17 dead)
2017, November 14 – Rancho Tehama Reserve shootings – (6 dead)
2015, 1 October – Umpqua Community College shooting – (10 dead)”

Teen suicide for Males ages 15 – 19 is listed at about fourteen percent by the CDC in 2015. Teen suicide rate for Females 15 – 19 is listed at about six percent.

“According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, there were 41,731,233 youth age 10-19 in the United States, 13% of the total U.S. population, in 2015″

As ugly as it reads, Teen deaths from school shootings is a drop in the bucket for any given year when compared against the number of other preventable Teen Deaths. Yet school shootings get the publicity because of the raw emotion involved, and the press over milking every possible angle of the story, playing on peoples emotions. Always first on peoples list is banning “assault” rifles.

I am not a fan of assault rifles. They were created for on reason, and we all know what that reason is. Let’s pretend we take assault rifles away. Now the next mass shooting will be done using a different type of firearm. Let’s pretend to take those arms away too. And so it goes, so on and so forth. Banning one gun after another until they are all gone.

Wait. There have been mass killings attempted with vehicles too! Let’s start banning vehicles. We’re not done yet. There was killing that took place in England recently where the weapon of choice was machetes. We better ban machetes too. Let’s not forget drug overdose, poisoning, and the multitude of other ways people use to kill each other.

Kids who plan to kill or kill on a large scale, as in school shootings seem to have certain characteristics in common. First and foremost, someone or several someones knew about the planned attack before it happened, and Parents were oblivious in a few cases (discounting Parents who knew their Son was a danger and no one would or could help). Secondly, it seems these kids were loners, either by choice or as a result of being bullied through their school days and years. All were unstable, and NO ONE (really cared or) payed any attention.

I do not wish to point fingers only at Parents, because kids, like adults can be secretive when need be. But, why in the world if a Child is having emotional or psychological problems, does that same kid have access to Dad’s or Mom’s gun(s)?

Two main issues here. Does Dad and Mom pay enough attention to their Child to know their Child is being bullied and/or has been ostracized from all social interaction at school? What about their Child’s behaviors? Children usually give off several types of warning signs or signals.

Transformation into wanting to kill does not happen overnight! Are Parents even aware if their child has serious emotional issues and may be unstable? Do Parents know their Child may fantasize about killing those Kids who make his life at school a pure hell? What about other family members? Do they pretend it’s not their business, or ignore the signs as just another rant? Neighbors, friends, does anyone pay attention? It doesn’t feel like it. If they do they don’t care enough to take action.

Kids killing Kids is a horrible thing. Until we start caring for our own Children and our neighbors children these mass killings are likely to continue. Guns are not the issue. Lack of Family and Social support and caring seems to be the major issue. Where is the Social Structure and support for these troubled Kids?

In each of the recent school shootings after the fact, one or more fellow students and  adults stated they were afraid this was going to happen. Yet they kept quiet!? It’s possible that some of those murdered in school shootings were the problem that caused such a violent reaction to begin with? We may never know for sure, but we allow bullying and social isolation to continue.

My admiration for the Grandmother who knows she should go through her Grandchild’s room, who found a diary where he was planning a school shooting of his own, and then found an assault rifle in his guitar case!

Why aren’t we involved in the lives of our children? Why aren’t we involved in our neighborhood and the children in it? You and I may be partially responsible for the next school shooting because we are indifferent and pretend we are too busy. My heart goes out to those who admitted they knew these school shootings were going to happen. They have to see themselves in the mirror every day, and know they did nothing.

Teen suicides are my fault and your fault for not being a responsible Parent and Adult in our own home and Community. A dead Teen, whether from their own hand or that of another, is a death that could have been prevented – if we only really cared and took action. The Government does not own School Shootings or other preventable Teen Death…we do.

The “Man in the Van” is not the problem, we are the problem. We have isolated ourselves so well, we do not know our own children, or our closest neighbors. Grow up! Be sociable and teach your Kids how to safely socialize. We can not help each other if we remain indifferent strangers to each other while living feet apart from each other.

Teen Thinking Help

I remember being a Teenager. I had more energy than brains. My thought to action process took place in seconds. If it looks like fun, do it. This was about all there was to my thinking. I thought it was just me but over the years I noticed it wasn’t just me. It is how a normal male and possibly female Teenage Brain works – little thought, lots of action.

I was luckier than most. I grew up in a rural area. There wasn’t a lot to destroy, or get into trouble over. I am not sure how I would have fared if I had been born and raised in a city, like where I live now. The Teenage brain has not changed, only mine has as I have aged. The Teen brain has two states, on and off.

There is a group in Chicago which is teaching Teens about pausing and thinking before acting. How to create a decision making process instead of reacting. Since it was started, violent crime, and especially murder rate has dropped dramatically in the the Teen age group where the program is active.

The program is named BAM, an acronym for Becoming a Man. The main purpose of the program is to teach teens to think slower, and not act on impulse. The program shows a lot of success in just teaching at risk teens to pause and think for about thirty seconds before acting.

This gives a Teen and his brain a chance to think before acting. Is the argument worth fighting, going to prison, or dying for? The short pause the BAM program teaches, is saving lives, and keeping otherwise good kids out of the prison system.

This is a concept that every parent should be teaching their kids starting before the teen years kick in. Here is an example of Teen no Think in action.

Teens act on impulse first, and think about results later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture above is of is a plastic bag dispensing container placed along walking path. The bags are there for dog walkers using the walking path to pick up and dispose of their dog’s droppings. There is a trash can for dog dropping disposal close by. Before these dispensers were put up along the walking path, it was no fun walking. There were piles of dog droppings about every three feet, and it stank – bad!

Notice the bags are yanked out and pulled around? This was done by a bored Teen acting on impulse. I am sure how the thought entered his mind, and he started yanking bags as soon as he reached the dispenser. I am sure it felt good too. It filled the need to do something.

Now if the the Teen Boy let himself think twenty or thirty seconds about this action before starting, he would have come to a better decision: People use these bags to clean up their Dog’s droppings. If I pull this apart there will be fewer bags available. That would mean more stinky dog droppings on the walking path. This is a stupid idea.

Obviously, the Teen Boy never thought about what he was going to do, he simply did it. I know now after he has had to think about it he feels really silly. I am sure it is not something he is telling his friends about. Thinking thirty seconds before acting is something everyone, not just Teens should practice. It saves lives, and makes life better for everyone.

 

Of Course NFL Coaches Are Scared of Their Players

Of course NFL Coaches are scared of what their Players will do if they are not not happy.

Top Players could leave the team, crippling the team

Top Players could not play their A game, every moment of the game

Team morale may fall, and Top Players have a lot to do with team morale

Team support by sponsor’s may dwindle as team starts playing less than their best

Fans quit showing up at the stadium, hurting sales of seats and concessions, and overall revenue

Of course NFL Sponsors are busy wrapping themselves in the American Flag. Each sponsor has it’s own reasons why they stand out from the crowd, both supporting American Soldiers and America’s right to protest. Kind of covers all the bases for NFL Sponsors? How nice.

Fans go to games for various reasons. Some of them are:

Entertainment, getting away from pressures of life, relax and support their home team. Do Fans really want politics played out on the field before them?

Players in the NFL are paid to play. They have several other means available to make a difference, including, “putting their money where their knee is”, to protest and draw media attention to their cause.

NFL Players are not the practically penniless Olympians on the podium in 1968, who were forced to share a pair of gloves in a, “Black Power Salute“,  because that is all they had. Those guys were not only putting their Olympic appearance on the line, they put their future on the line, and paid a hefty price in the doing.

John Carlos, Tommie Smith, Peter Norman 1968cr

As I presume you know about working for a living, do you know what your right to free speech is in your workplace? In case you are not aware, your freedom of speech is very limited at work. If you live in the United States, your employer has the right to loosely determine what type of speech is allowed and what type of speech is banned.

We can only imagine then, that in the NFL, and specifically at the Team level, this type of “speech” is not only allowed, but encouraged(?), out of subtle fear of players – who may or may not realize they hold power over their Coaches and Team Owners?

Who are the losers in this controversy taking place? Fans mostly. Everyone else who doesn’t follow football, or sports in general are a close second.

It is time to remember that serious change takes place slowly, and mainly takes place when one generation dies off and a younger generation replaces it.

Some times and people to think about courtesy of Wikipedia:

1865 – Slavery abolished in the United Sates by the 13’th Amendment – About 150 years ago.

1874 – Mary Ellen Wilson – Hell’s Kitchen. The first court case for the protection of a child. The case was defended using, “Cruelty to Animals” laws.

1918 – Women’s right to vote – Granted by the 18’th amendment, by one single vote.

1947 – Jack Roosevelt Robinson – First African American drafted into Major League Baseball.

1956 – Althea Gibson – First African American to cross the color barrier in tennis. Althea Gibson won the Grand Slam title in 1956.

1965 – Voting Rights Act of 1965 – Right to vote for “All Americans” – provided federal oversight of elections in discriminatory jurisdictions, banned literacy tests and similar discriminatory devices, and created legal remedies for people affected by voting discrimination – mostly African American and other minorities.

1967 – Charles Luther Sifford – First African American to play on the PGA.

1970 – Carl Maxie Brashear – First African American to become a U.S. Navy Master Diver, despite having an amputated left leg.

1983 – Guion Bluford – First African American in space. Col. Bluford went on for a total of four shuttle flights into space.

2009 – Barrack Obama – First African American President, Mr. Obama served two terms.

These people are some real African American Heroes. They did a lot more, and put a lot more on the line than than drop to one knee during the National Anthem at a football game. They put themselves on the line advancing the cause of all African Americans, breaking down numerous barriers in the process.

All these events and the people in them took place in 144 years. Personally I think this is amazing progress, for the country. Some people alive today have real and implanted memories of family members who were slaves or Klan members in the1800’s. Many people alive today have either been or know someone who was a victim of a senseless racially motivated crime. One does not have to look very hard to find an example.

What will happen in another 144 years, with barely two more generates come and gone? I hope as much as has happened in the last 150 plus years. Change doesn’t happen over night. If people want real change, they are going to have to work for it, not protest at a sports arena before a game.

Giving it All Away

Child Prodigy?

Striking child’s art! Perhaps a  child’s rendition of a homeless man?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was at a McDonald’s waiting in line for coffee. There was a homeless man in front of me who had a single dollar bill and had ordered off the $1.00 menu. He was digging in his pockets for change.

The man asked if I had a dollar he could have so he could get a second burger. I gave him a dollar. He asked for a second $1.00 burger and an order of hash browns. He pulled out a pocket full of change and placed it on the counter.

The Manager asked the cashier of he had enough money. The Cashier said if he did not, she would make up the difference.

After the counting was complete, the man had a dime, a nickel, and a collection of pennies which the Cashier had pushed back to him.

The man collected all the change and put the change into the Ronald McDonald House collection box. He donated all the money he had….

Does The Kitchen Area Look Like This Too?

I went out out for lunch today with friends. I parked on the street side of the restaurant. This side of the restaurant is not the side with the entrance, but it is not obvious when one parks where the entrance is.

The main entrance is to the left of where I parked. This view is to the right of where I parked. This dumpster area is also visible from the street and more the parking area. This is the area for customers who want close parking want to park.

This restaurant is a chain restaurant. There are two of these eateries in town. The other has a door to hide the trash bin. The door at the second location is always closed and the area clean, unless an employee is dumping trash.

Being a chain, one would think there are certain common standards for the business to follow? Standards do not seem to be present for the dumpster area. Management’s focus and concerns do not appear to include the whole customer experience.

My side view as I stepped out of my vehicle was this messy dumpster area with trash laying on the ground next to the dumpster. Being a curious person, the first thought that came into my mind after seeing the dumpster and the trash laying around it was:

“Does the kitchen look like this too?”

 

No customer of yours should see this. Look at your business with customer eyes.

No customer of yours should see this. Look at your business with customer eyes.

 

Maybe the kitchen is spotless. I’ll give the restaurant the benefit of doubt.  Neglecting the dumpster area however leaves or creates room for doubt. There is little doubt, this restaurant is the poorer performing of the two in town. Losing the potential revenue of repeat customers, and some first time customers with this area view.

This may be an off day, or this may be business as usual. How many diners are willing to gamble on their stomach?If I were not meeting other people for lunch, I would have gone to one of the other twenty or so restaurants within a few miles of this one.

As it is, I will not be back in the near future. What I will do, is share my observation with you the reader. Then  I will email the restaurant letting them know the dumpster area did not add to my appetite or dining experience.

Focus in business is a good thing. Focus is minding the bottom line and makes a difference between healthy profit and failure for business. Someone in  every business needs to see the business with a wholistic view. See what the customer will see. Hear what the customer may or may not hear. Someone in the business needs to see the business as the competition see the business.

No competitor, and rarely  is going to knock on the door and say, “You know your dumpster are looks pretty gross. Why don’t you clean it up and put a gate up so we don’t have to look at it?” Instead, the competition looks in the cash registers and thinks, “I hope the dumpster are over there stays open and trashy. It sure helps our bottom line!” Customers as in my case usually tell others about their experience and rarely tell the business.

When running a business it is not overly difficult or complex to succeed with a good product. Chains are chains because they have a product customers want. Not looking at the business from a customers perspective damages the bottom line. Myopia and business never make good partners.

Followup: Poor management leads to poor decisions. I went to the website to express my concerns on this matter, and the website was a database canned comment collection type web site which did not address my concerns.

The only email was a gift card email address. I sent my email to them with the picture. Not surprisingly I received a reply back that the gift card department can not manage my email, and perhaps I should address my concerns on the web page response system?

Not appreciating this answer I replied, perhaps they could forward my email much faster than I could find a valid email address. Following this, i went online to find the email of the CEO. It seems the company has filed for bankruptcy.

This is a great example of how poor upper management grows poor management, and poor top level decisions lead to poor decisions down the chain. Perhaps when bought out, the chain will make a comeback. Let’s hope so, it has a very good product.

Driving with Deer

Driving with the possibility of having one or more deer dart out on the road varies by where you are driving. This article applies to driving on a road where the probability of deer being present is high. When driving in deer country, the way you drive should be modified, especially at night or in other poor visibility driving conditions.

Take notice of the landscape you are driving through. What is the terrain around the road you are driving on. Can a deer run out on the road without being seen until the deer is on the road, or do you have  clear view of both sides of the road?

Always heed Deer are present in area signs

Always heed Deer are present in area signs

 

Is it day or night time? Deer are most active during dawn and dusk, but if they are being bothered by predators such as pack dogs, they will run. Running into the road may be the only direction a deer can escape danger in.

Evening or poor visibility changes your driving options

Evening or poor visibility changes your driving options

What season you are in makes a difference. Deer breed or ‘Rut’ in the late fall. When this happens male deer known as Buck, rounds up as many female deer, known as Does, as he can, hoping to breed with each of his new found harem. Often some of the Doe’s are not in the mood to breed at the moment and try to run off given the chance.

The Buck, herds the Does moving them in front of him in an attempt to keep them together and distance himself from rival Bucks attentions.The Does, are being pushed or herded, so stepping out on the road in front of a moving car is no different for them than moving through the woods.

Your view of the road and sides of the road is much better during the daylight hours. You have a better chance of seeing a deer moving toward the road than you do when the lighting is poor. Deer are adaptably colored. They are difficult to see any time of the day or night.

Look for movement first and the shape of a deer secondly, while scanning both sides of the roadway. Our eyes are better at noticing movement than they are picking out a deer partially hidden by shrubs or grass.

Travel at a reasonable speed. The distance you can slow down, stop or swerve if need be is more important than how long the trip will take. The trip will take much longer if you hit a deer and you are hurt and your car damaged.

If you are driving at night, slow down. You have to observe everything you watch in the daytime when deer may be present. With it being night time, you are now depending on your headlights to light the road for you. Most car headlights do a better job of lighting the road ahead than they do lighting the sides of the road.

If memory serves, about fifty-five miles per hour or eight-eight kilometer per hour is about the fastest one can drive and have a reasonable chance of avoiding hitting a deer with ample visual warning.

Any faster than these speeds and you greatly increase the probability that you are overdriving your headlights. Of course road conditions and visual warning times are the best indicator of the speed you should drive at.

Be careful of overdriving your headlights. Drive too fast in the wrong conditions, and the deer you see becomes the deer you hit.

Overdriving Your Headlights

 

“Overdriving your headlights means not being able to stop inside the illuminated area ahead. It is difficult to judge other vehicles’ speeds and distances at night. Do not overdrive your headlights—it creates a blind “crash area” in front of your vehicle. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area ahead.”

When possible, ensure a vehicle is in front of you or on the side a deer is likely to come from

When possible, ensure a vehicle is in front of you or on the side a deer is likely to come from

Whenever possible after you have taken other precautions, get behind a blocker vehicle. A blocker vehicle is any vehicle you can follow that will hit any deer that come onto the road. In the picture below the vehicle, semi-truck in this case is in the far right lane. Any deer venturing on the road is going to be hit by the truck, and not by my vehicle. I have a clear view of the left side of the road giving me plenty of time to stop or swerve if need be.

Common sense rules the road when driving on roads known for having deer in the area. Requirements vary from location to location on signage. When you see a road sign notifying you there are deer in the area for the next xxx miles take heed. Deer warning signs are posted whenever a certain number of deer are hit or killed in a specified time.

I took this picture this morning. I took the picture through my car window. Deer can and will be anywhere.

Unless there are high fences, deer can be anywhere

Unless there are high fences, deer can be anywhere

Hot Air Balloon and Canadian Honker’s Frozen in Time

We are having our Annual Balloon Fiesta here in Albuquerque. I was out walking Saturday morning and took this interesting photo of a Hot Air Balloon that touched down on a drainage ditch road. I wanted to share the picture with you.

The passengers have for the most part left the gondola and are standing around the gondola. The flock of geese is much closer to where I stood.

If you notice in the top left side of the picture, you will see most of a flock of geese heading to the wetlands to winter. I believe they are Canadian Honker’s as they made sure everything within three miles heard them.

The flock had other geese calling out and dogs barking as they flew over the balloon and it’s passengers who where for the most part oblivious to the sight and sounds.

Those are the Sandia Mountains in the background. When it rains in the day time, the mountains take on a reddish hue as the last of the day’s sunlight wash over them at sunset. Sandia is Spanish for Watermelon.

Hot Air Balloon and flying Geese caught in the same picture

Hot Air Balloon and flying Geese caught in the same picture

Dakota Access Pipeline – Where’s the News Coverage?

This video looked like Kent State in the 60’s & 70’s and the civil rights movement wrapped all into one. Why are we sitting back when people are being treated in this manner? This story should be in every daily newscast, every paper. Attack dogs being forced on people and we do not say a word about it?

Here is a youtube video title. The video is very graphic. Here is the video title if the link changes: “Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Native American Protesters with Dogs & Pepper Spray”

And the citation for the video.

Published on Sep 3, 2016

On September 3, the Dakota Access pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they protested against the $3.8 billion pipeline’s construction. If completed, the pipeline would carry about 500,000 barrels of crude per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to Illinois. The project has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of nearly 100 more tribes from across the U.S. and Canada.

We have people trying to protect the land and the people. We have a company paying massive amounts of money to farmers and ranchers for access through their land. Who can say no to needed monies when you are struggling?

The oil as I understand it is dirty oil from collected from Fracking Operations. The lifespan of the pipeline is limited to how useful the oil is. Once the dirty oil from the pipeline is no longer profitable, what then? Will the pipeline be left to rot and contaminate the land it was built on?

As I understand the pipeline is slated to go under the Missouri River. Imagine what a break in the pipeline will do downstream?

Finally, who is going to protect this controversial pipeline? Surely it will be the target at least of malcontents who will try to damage the pipeline.

Who will be around to clean up the mess that will surely follow once the pipeline is abandoned? I’m guessing, we the tax payers will have to pick up the financial tab, and our children will live with the environmental destruction.