Ah, Social Media

Someone just wrote this on Facebook (hi “H”!):

“Yay, look how right I am!”
~ (almost) EVERYONE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

I get it. People are fed up with political posts.

The truth of it is, at least from what I’ve seen, people aren’t changing their minds about what they think is right or wrong. So many don’t really dialogue. They merely spout. I do it. I know that for sure.

In addition, it all is just so very sad at the moment. The hate is strong. It often looks like it’s winning. In the long run I don’t believe that to be true, but “in time”? Well, hate is ahead. Sigh.

But what about me? What should I do? What can I do? I’m not sure, aside from praying (which most of my friend think is pointless, but oh well).

Well, I have a plan now. I will soon take a break from social media. Our daughter did it and never returned. My sister-in-law did it and never returned. I wonder … will I be back if I leave?

So here’s my experiment. I will call it the August Experiment. Come August 1 I am off social media for a month. Yes. One. Full. Month. That’s not to say people on social media won’t see me: I have auto-posts set up for all my blogs, so sadly some people will read what I write and see my photos even though I won’t see responses at all. If you want to really respond to me comment at the site or send me an email. I will look at those!

I’m going so far as to remove the social media apps from my devices so I won’t even be tempted.

So I’ll be gone for at least that month. Will anyone miss me? I really don’t know.

Sometimes

Sometimes I just can’t manage to do anything. I could worry about it, but I am attempting to worry less and breathe more. I can just “be” and that’s okay. I don’t always have to be productive. I’ve been productive a lot. I’m 61. I think I’ve earned some down time.

Maybe.

But even with my down time I still love to listen to music. So I will say goodnight with this lovely work.

Morten Lauridsen: Sure on this Shining Night
Allen Hightower conducts Luther College’s Nordic Choir in Lauridsen’s setting of the James Agee poem.

I Vow to Thee, My (possible two, max) Readers

I will NOT turn this into an anti-you-know-who blog. Really. But I just read a tweet and I can’t help but think that something is very, very wrong with a person who thinks this is presidential.

Thank you to all of my great supporters, really big progress being made. Other countries wanting to fix crazy trade deals. Economy is ROARING. Supreme Court pick getting GREAT REVIEWS. New Poll says Trump, at over 90%, is the most popular Republican in history of the Party. Wow!

I realize politicians all have to have pretty strong egos in order to run. I realize they might even be just a little bit nuts … WHO would want to be under the scrutiny of the country and, in the case of a president, the world?

But still.

I decided to look up qualities of a good leader. Now because I’m a Christian I might look up “Christian leader”, but I decided that was unfair for people in political leadership, right? Not all politicians are Christians. (Even those who might claim to be to get the Christian right to vote for them.) So I’m sort of doing a combo-list from a variety of sites I read. I think these are qualities of good leaders, no matter the faith:

Here is a list that I think could be found on both a secular and a Christian list:

Be Honest
Be Clear
Be Empathetic
Be Compassionate
Be Decisive
Be Communicative
Be Collaborative
Be Fearless
Be Honest
Be Accountable
Be Humble
Be Creative
Be Passionate
Be a Peacemaker
Be Fair and Just
Be Sensible and Kind
Be Slow to Anger
Be Disciplined
Be Sincere
Be Skillful and Competent
Be a Good Learner

And I will now leave my frustrations with the current goings-on of our country off this blog. I vow to thee….

Call Me Skeptical

… but maybe I’ll reply with a “Thanks, but I’m “not still alive” message (since he does wonder about that). Just because.

Interim Assistant General Manager,
(Operations, Maintenance, Transportation)
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
5500 44th St SE, Grand Rapids
MI 49512, Michigan United States

Hello ,

Your Abandoned Package For Delivery

I am Mr. George Feinberg, head of luggage/baggage storage facilities (Operations, Maintenance, Transportation) here at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Michigan USA. During my recent WITHHELD PACKAGE routine check at the Airport Storage Vault, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from Africa and when i scanned it, it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box weighing approximately 110kg. The consignment was abandoned because the Contents of the consignment was not properly declared by the consignee as “MONEY” rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid interrogation as well as, the inability of the diplomat to pay for the United States Non Inspection Charges which i $3,700USD. The details of the consignment including your name, your email address and the official documents from the United Nations office in Geneva are tagged on the Trunk box.

However, to enable me confirm if you are the actual recipient of this consignment, I will advise you provide your current Phone Number and Full Address, to enable me cross check if it corresponds with the address on the official documents including the name of nearest Airport around your city. Please note that this consignment is supposed to have been returned to the United States Treasury Department as unclaimed delivery due to the delay in concluding the clearance processes so as a result of this, I will not be able to receive your details on my official email account. So in order words to enable me cross check your details, I will advise you send the required details to my private email address for quick processing and response. Once I confirm you as the actual recipient of the trunk box,I can get everything concluded within 48 hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery.

Lastly, be informed that the reason I have taken it upon myself to contact you personally about this abandoned consignment because I want us to transact this business and share the money 70% for you and 30% for me since the consignment has not yet been returned to the United States Treasury Department after being abandoned by the diplomat so immediately the confirmation is made, I will go ahead and pay for the United States Non Inspection Fee of $3,700 dollars and arrange for the box to be delivered to your doorstep Or I can bring it by myself to avoid any more trouble but you have to assure me of my 30% share.

I wait to hear from you urgently if you are still alive and I will appreciate if we can keep this deal confidential. Please get back to me via my private Email:( deleted email addie) for further directives.

Thanks,
Mr George Feinberg
call +1 (XXX) XXX-9931
Text (XXX) XXX-9931

Interim Assistant General Manager,
(Operations, Maintenance, Transportation)
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
5500 44th St SE, Grand Rapids
MI 49512, Michigan United States

Hate in the ‘Hood

I live in an area where the majority of people are white, rich, and quite privileged. It’s true not everyone is white, but certainly the majority are, so much so that when someone of color was seen walking up to a house someone on our neighborhood Facebook page reported that it looked like a young black man who “didn’t belong here” was casing a house. Shortly after she did that she wrote, “Oops. He lives there.” I was pleased that she was read the riot act by some, but many were siding with her. I ache when I read news like that.

Things are that way here sometimes. It is horrifying, in my opinion.

Just yesterday someone on a neighborhood Facebook page posted about some horrendous posters of hate (Nazi style) that have been posted in our area. It’s been interesting to see the replies. Some agreed it was awful. Some said “I’ll tear them down if I see them.” But some denied this would ever happen in our neighborhood. We rich white folks … we wouldn’t ever do that, right? Some cried fake news. One man was particularly hostile.

It all just makes me sad.

We don’t need to be defensive. We need to defend. We don’t need to cry “fake news!” We need to cry.

Visitors Arriving …

We are busy preparing the house for family who will arrive tomorrow, and this means we finally put up some artwork that had been waiting around patiently. It’s so nice to have work from other people on our walls: everything over the fireplace (no, we don’t use it!) is from other people, as is the Ansel Adams image, the two small images, and the violinist in Paris. The other wall is work of Dan’s that had been up in but never done nicely as it is now. I’m one happy camper!

These are merely iPhone shots, but hey, it’s better than nothing … only just barely. Taking photos of artwork is an art and it is most definitely not an art at which I excel. Please forgive all those reflections and the bad angles … but at least you can see what we’ve done.

Left to Right: William Neill (two images), Charles Cramer, Penny Otwell,
Franka Mlikota Gabler, Camille Seaman:

John Sexton:

Left to Right: William Neill, Charles Cramer, Penny Otwell, Franka Mlikota Gabler:

Left to Right: William Neill (two images), Charles Cramer, Penny Otwell,
Franka Mlikota Gabler, Camille Seaman

Moving to our work for the next three images:

Dan is on the wall, the red ranunculus is mine:

Top: Robin Black Bottom: Charlotte Hoffman:

A local photographer, Norma Fries, did the “Metro Fiddler”. We ran across it at an open studio just a walk away! The photos that are hanging on the far wall are Dan’s. You can probably tell which one that is free standing below is mine and which is not. The wonderful storage cabinet they are sitting on can hold prints of a good dimension. We purchased that from Camille Seamen right before she headed to Ireland!

One more … already!

… just like that I’m back at it. But this is just to explain the “Why the blog now?” bit.

I am attempting, though not completely succeeding, to pull away from Facebook. I’ve found that it just depresses me so very much. Maybe part of it is its “falseness”. All these “friends”, some of whom could walk right by me without knowing they did so. Maybe it’s the harshness of some posts. Maybe it’s the way we are so very divided in our country at the moment. Maybe it’s all that and more.

No matter what, I am finding it stressful. And depressing.

There is much to stress about recently. The added stress and depression from Facebook was eating me up. It was also sucking up SO much time, and I wondered if perhaps it would be better for my health to take a break. So I’m trying.

That’s not to say I’m not there on occasion. I “sneak” in and view things sometimes: it’s the only way in which I can see what some people are up to, since they aren’t in my life in any other way. So I read a bit. Then I think, “Stress level rising … warning … step away!” and so I close the browser window.

But as far as posting, at the moment anything people see there is coming from this site, the oboe blog or the photography site. I’m not posting directly to Facebook at all. (Sadly — at least for me — it means that I’m also not posting the goofy things I see when I’m out on my walks. Do others miss them? Hm. Maybe not!)

So there … that’s my explanation for the possibility of starting this blog up again. It’s a place to ramble. It’s a place to be goofy. It’s a place to share things that concern me. I hope it’s not a place to whine, but with me you never know.

Here … have some music for your time:

Steal Away, arr. Gwyneth Walker
The Resonanz Children’s Choir; Avip Priatna, Conductor

I might resurrect this site …

I know, I know, I’m goofy. But if you didn’t realize that already, that’s not MY fault!

I’ve had a few things on my mind. I don’t want to write them on my photography blog because that is, after all, about photography. Same goes for the oboe blog. So maybe this is back. We’ll see. I might write this one thing and be done. Time will tell.

But.

This sign.

This sign is in front of our house. It went up in February of 2017. It went up when I was hearing so much hateful talk about people living here in our country that some felt didn’t belong. It went up because people were being harmed because of how they looked or what they wore. It has stayed up, despite being ripped in two at some point and having a man on a bicycle swear at me quite viciously. It will stay up even while I know some decide to interpret it differently to fit their anger, fear or agenda. At least for now.

I would love to take it down. I would love to know that we are a country that is open to people who don’t look like “us” (whoever the “us” are).

Someday, maybe. But I have my doubts.

There is, after all, “nothing new under the sun”. And fear of “the others” has been around forever.

… and I see the header for this blog has stayed the same for a while too. That will stay as well. I wish it were true.