Sunday, June 26, 2016
I honestly believe that on one actually gives a crap about someone’s else’s childhood stories, or even life stories, as long as it didn’t mesh with their own.
Having said that, I was raised in a small Mississippi Delta town that was a clone of Scout’s town in Harper Lee’s, To Kill a Mockingbird. My grandmother, who raised me, was born in the 1800’s and was a ‘southern lady’ as in Faulkner’s, A Rose for Emily. I had no friends who had sisters, so girls (and women) were an exotic mystery to me. They wore dresses, had long hair, they talked different, they walked different, they would get together and giggled and they had, or would have, tits. They were these rarified creatures like unicorns and fairies. If they noticed me at all I would act silly. Hell, I didn’t even believe girls farted.
This seems funny, almost ridiculous now, but that’s how it was in the deep south of the 1930’s and 40’s. Children were taught to be respectful of adults (yes sir and yes ma’am) and especially women.
Women probably don’t want that kind of adoration now – they want to be looked at as equal. The curtain has been pulled back to expose the wizard – and perhaps that is good – but it has lost its magic.
Young boys grow up now seeing women with week bladders and pissy diapers dancing around in TV adds; they see adds for feminine hygiene sprays and for feminine napkins and tampons; women seductively lounging on a bed concerned about their husband’s erectile dysfunction; and a women followed around by her intestinal track concerned about diarrhea and gas.
Women in combat, a woman President, women super heroes - goddess bless um – the world will be a better place with women at the wheel and the old stereotypes broken down.
BUT THE THRILL IS GONE!
I still open doors for my wife, I view her as a magical being, I feel protective of her, I walk on the street side with her on my arm when we walk downtown – because my grandmother told me a gentleman walking with a lady always walks next to the street so he can beat off the horses.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Stephen King’s book The Stand and even more recently Justin Cronin’s book Passage portray an apocalyptic world resulting from scientific research gone wrong.
Just as cloning and genetic manipulation brought about the concept of Jurassic Park, a new genetic innovation has up the ante: it is called CRISPR-Cas9.
I looked online for a video that might explain CRISPR in simple, nontechnical language, but even those that claim to be a basic delved too much into DNA/RNA, genetic paring…
So instead I will make an effort to put this into a nontechnical-language explanation.
1. We can picture DNA strands as a rope ladder.
2. Two scientist have come up with a molecular robot that can cut the ladder. This robot is named CRISPR.
3. Diseases like Alzheimer, AIDS, Parkinson, Cancer and even certain heart diseases have an identifiable corrupted DNA signature.
4. CRISPR can be programed to search and identify these corrupted strings of DNA and basically cut them out of the ladder.
5. Cas9 is an attachment to CRISPR and can reconnect the severed ladder ends by replacing the corrupted string with a non-corrupted string.
This is not Science fiction or something that may evolve in the future: it exists at present time and is now being tweaked in genetic experimental laboratories.
This procedure is relative inexpensive, costing less than $300 before pharmaceuticals and hospitals would add their profit margin. This procedure could make humans immune to all the diseases that now kill us off – basically extending our lifespan and keeping us health into old age. Even possibly reversing the aging process
But, the procedure will need testing – human trials to be approved.
Also, like yin and yang, black and white, positive and negative – this procedure has some ethical issues.
Using this simple procedure, you could easily genetically modify Hume beings. It would be easy to insure an unborn baby was a male with black hair and green eye; but you could also adjust his adult height, bone density, muscle density, aggression, intelligence quota etc. In other word you could manufacture a race with individuals designed for certain task.
You can immediately picture Christians opposing this: humans playing God. Christians have opposed every scientific achievement since its conception.
Just as with stem cell research I expect this research will be delayed possibly into the next decade. But, scientist have a history of continuing their research despite opposition – for the sake of science. If they feel they can accomplish a scientific breakthrough they tend to forge ahead.
At the very least, the future could be interesting.
Friday, June 24, 2016
I have a new cell phone. It is a flip phone and it can access the internet, send and receive text messages, take and send pictures – and I don’t know how to do any of that.
Basically, I don’t have a need for any of that. I keep the phone for emergencies if I am traveling, and I will probably use it less than fifteen minutes this year to contact my wife if I have a question while I go shopping at the grocery store by myself.
I don’t feel the need to stay connected every minute - 24/7. But that doesn’t mean the world shouldn’t.
Though I am not connected, I am not decrying the rest of the universe that obviously is. I am a dinosaur and have chosen to let technology leave me behind.
The children of the millennials are growing up plugged in to iPads and computers instead of watching Sesame Street; technology is replacing toys. This will cause a rewiring of the brain producing a techno-generation that will accept rapid change and think and respond differently than their grandparents. These children are the new aliens on planet Earth.
What used to take decades to research, produce and market is now done in months. New products, new ideas, new parameters are being introduced daily.
In 1985 there was no internet being used by the masses. An Apple Mac computer could store one megabyte of data.
In the last forty years there has been more change in human innovation than the forty-thousand years preceding. We have satellites giving us GPS with accurate to within a foot; space telescopes exploring the distance galaxies of the universe; computers capable of massive compilations within seconds; and exploration of the genome systems that in the very near future will cure most diseases and allow humans to drastically extend their life span. Not to mention creating a new generation of children adapted to dealing with technologies and this rapid change.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
I am a voracious reader. It is rare that I am not in the process of reading one or more books. I even enjoy technical manuals and text books.
I had a hard time in school because I was a poor reader. I did not realize until later (actually in college) that I had struggled with dyslexia. I might read the word was as saw, often having to spell the word to identify it. Having to read word-for-word was excruciating and the meaning was often lost.
In high school I pulled excellent grades in algebra, geometry and the sciences but barely got by in literature and history. And yet, outside of school, from about the age of thirteen until I graduated, I read every issue of Field and Stream, Outdoor Life and Sports Afield; and practically memorized the U.S. Navy Survival Manual.
By the time I graduated high school I was compensating for my inability to read rote by reading context. I became very good at reading for content and found I could read very fast and with high recall.
I know this sounds strange; but when I look at a line of print I do not read word for word, but I read the sentence. I can digest a manual, a how-to book or a fiction or nonfiction book within a few reeds with good comprehension; but when I try to slow down and read aloud it comes out faltering.
My wife and I have often read together; most of the Stephen King books we shared – which means that she did most of the reading. When I would read to her it tended to drive her crazy, because if she was following along I would be skipping words, inserting words or abbreviating sentences; the meaning was there but the rhythm, the meter and the beauty of the sentence was missing.
In order to slow down I must run my finger along the line beneath each word. Especially when dealing with numbers I still follow my finger, otherwise 12345 may come out 12354. When reading poetry or Shakespeare I use my finger to slow down and sound each word in my head in order to hear the beauty of the writing.
I am not too sure that reading will be important in the future. Most technology now comes without manuals; how-to are now on video; cellphones and computers now talk to you; and the reading most of the young people do is in abbreviated form within 140 characters.
We may be near the last generation to read books, magazines and newspapers. Print, one day in the near future, may be considered arcane.
My wife and I only celebrate four holidays: Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice. All the rest are man-made commemorations of bullshit. – an attempt to venerate our belief in the nobility of our species.
To me the natural seasons mark the stages of human life: childhood (birth-20); young adult hood (20-40); adulthood (40-60) and old age (60+): Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
I am in the winter of my years, and that is not bad because I have always love the winter. Now the days get shorter as we move toward winter, and I look forward to the coming of that season and the first snow fall.
Yes, John Snow, winter is coming for all of us; but that is not a bad thing.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Many years ago my wife and I moved into an abandon farm house buried deep in the Maine woods. We had no electricity, sewerage or running water. We carried our water from the stream behind the house, read and studied by oil lamps; with a porta-potty for my wife and an outhouse I built for me.
Each morning I would wake up and walk out into the front yard for a morning piss. There were numerous small ant hills around the yard and it became a routine to select one to relieve myself on. Within a month the ants were gone.
After the sixth extinction, and as we approach the final nuclear extinction, I believe the ants, not the cockroaches or rats, will be left as the dominant life form on this earth.
Therefore, we should start our battle now.
Piss on ‘em
Three weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since that time she has gone through surgery and is now scheduled for radiation treatment – it has evolved to the best possible results, thanks to early detection.
I can’t express how moving and appreciative we are for the heart felt wishes from people who have read my blog. The blogging community is really something special.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
|My grandmother and four daughters|
I have seen so much in my seventy plus years: radio days, telephone operators, Second World War, black and white movies, the advent of television, aircraft breaking the sound barrier at 600 mph., computer punch cards - from propellers to jet aircraft, to space ships, and medical advances that are allowing us to live longer; but most of all I have seen social changes.
My wife being diagnosed with breast cancer has me viewing her as a marvel of my time. I can remember, during my life time, a drastic change in the image and status of women.
My grandmother, who raised me, was born in 1892. She was married as she turned sixteen and had six children by the time she was twenty-one. A great and gracious lady, she had on idea of how to support or take care of herself when she was abandon by her husband. She lived her life depending on the kindness of her daughters.
Throughout my youth women were looked at as being less intelligent then men, emotionally unstable, and not capable of competing with men. Part of it, of course, was coming out of an age where physical strength attributed to success.
The instability of women: nervousness, prone to depression and emotionally volatile was a constant topic and joke among husbands (overheard by their sons.) And unfortunately these attributes were undoubtedly correct.
I can only imagine how frustrating it was for intelligent women to craved knowledge and control of their destiny; yet be relegated to the state of ignominy by a society that kept her ignorant of family finances, discounted her opinions, isolated her from decisions and any position of respect.
Her lot was the expectation of motherhood - with totally responsible for children, the household and the gratification of her husband.
|Notice motherhood is the pentacle|
Not to mention religion that charged her with releasing sin and suffering upon the world.
No wonder women freaked out. No wonder they were in a state of constant depression and anxiety - they were living the life of a kidnapped victim.
Just as with segregation, it took decades before many women actually felt confidence – self-worth – and in control of their lives. Some never achieved this.
Then during the sixties things began to change.
I look at my wife and can’t imagine anyone doubting her intelligence. I have witnessed her bravery, her willingness to take chances and her calm reasoning. She is my stability; she has elevated me.
And now we see the possibility of a female President – and possibly a female Vice-President.
You have come a long way sisters and proved yourself ready for the dog fight.
My attitudes have evolved and I wouldn’t have it any other way; though I have to admit I still view and appreciate women as a sexy piece – of work.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Cancer is something that happens to other people – to people with pink ribbons on their car – people running marathons in news reports. It is not something that should happen to someone you know and love.
My wife is twelve years younger than me. She is not supposed to have a condition that is life threatening – that should be my future – I accept that, I’m old.
Two weeks ago my wife had a mammogram and the clinic contacted her for a retake. There was a small suspicious spot and her doctor recommended an ultrasound. The spot was confirmed and the surgeon recommended a biopsy. The biopsy results came back Invasive Lobular Carcinoma: Breast cancer. This all happened within a week.
Suddenly our lives were upside down.
Yesterday my girl went in for a lumpectomy. This is not a pleasant procedure. First a wire was placed in her breast during an ultrasound to exactly mark the tumor for the surgeon. Next radioactive serum was injected into the tumor, then we had a two hour wait for the serum to move through the lymph nodes – this allows the surgical team to identifying the first nodes directly in line with the malignancy. Finally, during the surgery, the tumor and the surrounding area, along with three lymph nodes under the arm were removed.
Now we wait for the results of the lymph node evaluation, and if they are clear than no further surgery is required.
In a few weeks my girl will be scheduled for radiation therapy: five days a week for six weeks. Lastly she will be on hormone medication for the next five years.
My beautiful, feminine wife is without a doubt the bravest woman I have ever known. I was so uptight I felt I was going to explode, and she was calm, focused and accepting. Her courage pulled me though this chaos.
My wife has had yearly mammograms and that has allowed us to catch this cancer in a very early stage.
There is no history in my wife’s family of breast cancer. If you have a wife, lover, mother, sister or daughter that is not getting yearly mammograms you should insist they begin. It is now obvious to me that breast cancer can strike any female in any family.