Author: winter b

Midday Matinee – Talking to myself?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Well yes, I am talking to myself. All the time. I don’t like it when I catch myself. But I finally figured out why I do it. This subject inevitably leads me back to my great grandmother. I adored that woman. She made huge chunks of my childhood special, all the more appreciated because I had a plethora of grandparents (8) all of whom were divorced and remarried, and between them carried as much baggage as any army. In short, they were not the kind of grandparents who played with kids, baked cookies, or even hugged. Easy to see why my parents had problems. But then there was Great Grandma. Spry, cheerful, full of love. And she always made me feel so special. I used to love to sit on her lap while she rocked, and hold her conch shell to my ear to listen to the “ocean.” I still have that shell, and it still has a piece of tape inside it on which she’d written: “Promised to Susan age 5.” For years she saved a magazine because I loved the photo of pussy willows on the cover. She made the world’s best fresh squeezed lemonade in the evenings, and we’d sit on her shaded porch drinking it, watching the world go by. She was a real grandma, but one...

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Midday Matinee – Running on automatic

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. We spend a lot of time running on automatic. If we didn’t, life would become impossible. It also gets us into trouble, mostly small but sometimes large. (More) We take much for granted. When we’re walking, we’re not focused on every muscle twitch that leads to the next step. We don’t think about maintaining balance, and most of the time we avoid obstacles without a thought. Our minds are often elsewhere, thinking about the day, about our intentions when we arrive, many things that seem more important than walking. We do the same when driving. How many of us have arrived somewhere with little memory of how we arrived? Most of us, I’m sure…unless something happened along the way to force us, usually with a rush of adrenaline, right back into the intense moment of actually driving. We carry on conversations, we listen to the radio, we think about the past and the future. Most of the time we’re not thinking at all about the mechanics of driving. I’ll be the first to say we couldn’t get anything done if we couldn’t do so much on autopilot. Our entire brains would be occupied with that next step or with keeping the car on the road. We develop all kinds of habits and routines that make our days easier,...

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Morning Feature: Digging Deeper: Slavery at the Super Bowl?

Change.org sent me a disturbing email, claiming thousands of children would be brought to Dallas as sex slaves during the Super Bowl. I had to dig deeper. (More) The Tuesday Digging Deeper Morning Feature surveys an ongoing news topic through multiple sources to invite in-depth conversation. Please check back over the coming days for additional comments. Today’s Digging Deeper explores reports that the Super Bowl is venue for sex slavery. From Change.org’s website: The trafficking of children for sale at the Super Bowl is well documented. Texas Attorney General [Greg] Abbott is taking a stand and has prepared a task force to identify and respond to traffickers who plan to sell children at the Super Bowl. However, it is not enough to expect law enforcement and victim advocates to bear the entire burden of responding to this issue, which is expected to include many victims. In support of the efforts of the task force, we are requesting the Super Bowl Host Committee embrace a proactive approach with community members by endorsing the “I’m Not buying It” campaign, which would raise awareness and deter the buying of children during the Super Bowl. Apparently the Super Bowl Host Committee isn’t interested. I guess I can understand why they wouldn’t want to get involved in efforts to publicize this problem, but their job is to organize the event. That includes helping coordinate vehicle...

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Furthermore! – Peddling fear

It’s not just for governments and media anymore. The peddling of fear has become so epidemic I drove two salespeople off the other day with the words, “I refuse to live in fear.” What were they selling? The product matters less than that they were selling fear. Ugly fear. Fear of my neighbors’ kids. They appeared to represent General Electric. I won’t say that GE came up with this brilliant marketing plan. Chances are it was devised by some local genius. But maybe not. Worse, they weren’t the only solicitors I’ve had at my door trying to sell the same thing: “Be afraid, be very afraid.” The approach seemed reasonable enough. “We were doing some work for the X family down the street. Do you know them?” Of course I know them. What’s more, Mr. X is president of both our HOA and our CDD (Community Development District, a local taxing entity). A very nice guy, though I don’t always agree with him. My first thought was, “Gee, Mr. X probably wouldn’t be happy that you’re using his name since our neighborhood is clearly posted No soliciting.” And he’s at least partly responsible for that rule. But I’ve heard this approach so often: We were working at your neighbor’s down the street… Yeah, okay. Then comes the fear sell: “Were you aware they had a break-in?” Of course I...

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Midday Matinee – International travel, random musings

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Well, they’d have to be random, wouldn’t they, since I’m nursing yet another cold, can’t get warm, and think I left my brain somewhere between Frankfurt and Charlotte. I filed a baggage claim for it, but haven’t heard anything yet. Flying over the Atlantic has become one of those trials by fire. Nine hours in a tube with too many people and a cabin staff that disappears except for required “hydration” rounds with juice and water. You do get dehydrated. The water made my stomach turn over, the juice was forbidden because I’m diabetic. So I asked for a Diet Coke. Nope. Come to the back of the plane to get one. Well, my balance isn’t great. So my daughter went back to get it for me and had to argue with the attendant. Argue. They sure didn’t want to let go of that coke. You try to maintain sanity by paying an outrageous price for headphones that don’t work well and watching movies on a screen so small it would make an iPad look huge. So I’m squeezed into the toothpaste tube they call an airplane these days. But honestly, if you talk to foks around you, life can get interesting. For example, this really huge guy sat at...

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