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Our Little Corner of The World

Lucian Gower

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Think about this!  This is perfectly legal in the United States.  We gripe about how prisoners are treated and yet we allow animals to be treated in worse conditions without anyone raising a comment.  I for one am a full-fledged member of the ASPCA and am proud of the fact that there are some people willing to do the necessary to help animals get rights too.

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Children of Today

Every generation finds fault with the next but if we take our time, we see the exact same things we did when we were younger - just maybe with a different name.  I sat and watched my great nieces and nephew today running around the yard and it reminded me of when I got to watch their uncle and his cousin running around the yard several years ago.  They were just as aggressive in their play and we didn’t claim they were ADHD.  I think as our society gets further into the future, children will become what they were before - young versions of adults.

Bear with me as I explain what I mean here.  In the earlier centuries of our great country, children were raised to be seen not heard.  Their parents raised them to not think for themselves.  Now, our children are taught to think, act and develop almost by themselves.  We have so many latchkey children in our society because of the two person workload in the family - that is if there are two parents.  I am still amazed today when I watch a 4 year old walking around my wife’s place of employment holding an I-phone and cussing someone out on it.  Have we become so indifferent?  I do not believe in spankings but where is the discipline for our children?  Do we not care as parents any more?  

We send them to school so we can be “rid” of them for 7-8 hours per day and then we put them in front of a television for another few hours so we don’t have to “deal” with them.  I am not a perfect father but I always raised my 2 daughters with the idea that we had pizza night, game night and we always ate dinner together at the table.  I think they turned out okay.  I still find it funny when my youngest comes to me and says look at these new pants - skinny jeans.  I believe we called them pegleg pants in my younger days.  They can’t believe we didn’t have cell phones, computers or flatscreen televisions.  What did we do for fun?  We played board games or we played outside.  Oh no!  Not out in that awful sun where we can get sun poisoning and God knows what else scientists and doctors might want to add to the list.  So, get involved with our kids again and let’s raise a generation back up to be respectful and empathetic to others.  But that is our little corner of the world.

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Compromise?

You know, I hate politics.  Today, I realize I have had my fill of both the Democrats and the Republicans with this filibuster problem.  There is no such thing as compromise any more.  And many of my friends and family wonder why my wife and I are registered as Independents.  With all of this nonsense, I am waiting for the day that a real candidate comes forward with ideas that work and not along party lines.  

I believe from my history studies our forefathers would be unhappy with the turn of events which has completely divided this nation.  We still have to be a certain group in order to be accepted.  This is the reason we still have problems with racism, sexism, age and sexual orientation discrimination, religious and cultural discrimination.  We can’t become a unified people if we still want to stand firm without compromise.  

In order for us to become true Americans, we need to accept everyone and stop stereotyping individuals and groups.  We need to set limits in our political parties as well.  Is it any wonder that after FDR we set a limit of 2 terms for the President?  Why are Congress and the Senate any different?  It is time to get involved again in our political system.  We need to get over this idea that as long as it doesn’t affect me, then it doesn’t matter.  Compromise is the basis of the party system and apparently the party has failed.  But that is our little corner of the world.

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50

Okay, today I hit the dreaded 50 years of age.  No fanfare, no brass band, no fireworks.  I am not disappointed in anyways.  It just feels like any other day and I still feel the same as I did last night.  So much for the big 5 - 0.

As I have said, I have a 53 year old friend and the only regret he has ever told me about is that he would love to return to England.  Big regret.  I have a few things I might change about my past but for 50 years, I think I have had an amazing run.  I am in no way ready for the grave or nursing home as some people seem to think everyone becomes when they reach this pinnacle.  

Who knows?  Perhaps God will let me live another 50 years or another 50 minutes.  I know that whatever He decides, I will enjoy the next 5 - 0 just like the first.  Thanks to my daughters and my wife for 19 years of it and to my family for the other 31.  

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NCAA Basketball Tournament

In my state of Kentucky basketball is king.  Here people side with either the Wildcats or the Cardinals.  However, I am one of the rarities in this state.  When the NCAA tournament comes around each March, I look to see how the Cats and Cards are rated but I also watch for Western Kentucky University, Murray State University and of course their rival, Morehead State University.  I love my basketball and I am a big fan of the Cats and Cards but I also sneak a check on the Toppers and Racers every season to see how they are doing.

I have always loved the underdog and loved it when Murray and Western have pulled off big upsets in the tournament in the past.  People outside this state don’t realize that we tend to love all things basketball.  Whether it is high school or college we don’t care as long as someone plays a great game.

I like everyone here cannot stand one particular team - DUKE.  Yes I was around when “the game” happened.  I like all the fans believe a huge foul was committed by Christian in the game that was not called.  As a Cats fan, I can never forgive Duke but I do think their coach is one of the greatest coaches of all time.  I can stand North Carolina though which is somewhat funny.

So give me my Cats, Cards, Toppers and Racers and sit back and enjoy the NCAA in March each year until they are all eliminated or one is crowned champion.  Here in our little corner of the world we just want it to be basketball season.

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Picture of NASA Letter 1962

I liked a picture of a letter circa 1962 that was written by NASA to a girl telling her that they did not use women astronauts and had no plans in the future to do so.  I didn’t like the letter for those reasons.  I wanted my daughters to see a time period in which women were not allowed to do things they wanted to.  It irritates me that I have raised my two daughters to believe they are capable of doing anything that a man can do.  In this age where we want equality for everyone, I still have to teach my 19 year old and my 17 year old why we still have racism, sexism, age discrimination, religious discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination.  

I am a military brat.  Period.  My father and mother taught me from the beginning that all people are equal regardless of age, sex, color, creed or religion.  Why in 2013 are we still having issues with these.  I would like to remind anyone reading this that it is God, Allah, Jehovah, Buddah or other gods that might be worshipped that they are judges not we humans.  We may have a prejudice or a belief but we do not force these on anyone.

I have learned over time that if you can accept any culture then you can face the facts that all things are possible.  We all love to eat Tex-Mex and yet we gripe about Mexicans.  We love fried foods, ribs and barbeque but we still talk about African-Americans who developed these items.  Most of our country comes from a melting pot of other cultures, races and religions.  This country was founded on principles that all are created equal and they have certain rights.  Why do we ignore them now?

So 1962 has come and gone.  But to quote one of my favorite comedians of all time - “not so you notice” - George Carlin.  We still can’t get past the look of someone and see their soul.  That is the heart of an individual - not how they look.  Remember that we are all children of our Creator no matter who we believe did so.  But that is our little corner of the world.

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Age

I look at the calendar and realize that in 2 days I will turn 50 years of age.  I remember when my father and mother passed this age and I thought of the words - senior citizen.  Now time has caught up with me and I am even thinking of joining AARP for all the benefits.  Yikes!!!!  I guess in this more modern age, you are as old as you feel.  If that is the case, sometimes I am 80 and sometimes I am 20.

Age is as I have discovered a thing that is personal to most people.  I do not mind turning 50; however, my wife who will be 40 in August is in a panic.  Why do people worry about age?  I have discovered that most of the time it is the things you regret that makes you worry more about age.  I have only a few regrets but they are simple.  My wife has one major regret - she didn’t go to college.  Well hopefully, she will take care of that this fall.

I watch my two daughters and I realize that I should have no regrets because I have a legacy that will carry on long after I am gone.  I watch people who suffer because they become a burden to their children.  Children forget that they were once a “burden” to their parents.  I hope that when I am senile or worse that my daughters will think kindly of me and put me in a decent nursing home.  

However, I am not ready for that nursing home today.  I have a great friend who is 53 and he never once regrets the fact he is over 50.  He has two great kids and a wife who also turned 50 this year (I can never let her forget she is a couple months older than I am).  If I have learned anything, I have watched my parents (dad is now gone) and my friends age and most have aged well.  So is 50 the new 20?  Here in our little corner of the world it is to me.

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Sports in our little world

I watched yesterday as Andy Murray won the men’s singles for the British for the first time in 77 years.  It was awesome to say the least and yet, life goes on.  Here in our little corner of the world, unemployment is still high, jobs are scarce and gas is at a ridiculous $3.39.  It is amazing that for a few hours we can watch something as simple as a sporting event and forget all our troubles.  

Our little world worries about high school football and basketball, the University of Kentucky and Louisville football and basketball and whether or not we win championships.  Sports is a multi-million dollar industry and we the common man are awestruck by the simplicity of a ball being thrown or hit in a fashion to make a winning play.  With all that is wrong in the world, sports is the American past time that allows us to relive glory days gone by and to dream again of our lost youth.

Even as the world goes by and we worry about jobs, gas and oil and the next piece of bread on our table, we worry about whether or not the Wildcats will have a #1 prospect or a winning season or if the Cards can repeat again next season.  Sports at the local level is whether or not the Warriors make it to state again or if they will win regional.  We route our sons and daughters on like a mindless grouping of people willing to follow a sporting event for a couple of hours while all else stops.

Thank goodness there is some reality.  I will cheer Andy on again and will cheer on the Cats and Cards like all other Kentuckians but I also know unlike many that events are forgotten when reality sets in.  But that is our little corner of the world.

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Oil Prices

You know here in our little corner of Kentucky it amazes me as to all the excuses that are used as to why oil and gas prices MUST rise.  How in a brand new report on the economy that shows improvement does Wall Street get nervous and raise oil?  Then Egypt is making them nervous.  Why?  You know it seems to me that we had an election last year and 4 years ago and I seem to remember a candidate that promised us renewable energy.  Why are we concentrating on shale oil, a pipeline and worried about oil in the world?

I know that natural gas is cheaper and cars can be converted; yet, prices of these cars and the converters are still very expensive.  No matter what we try, it seems that the lobbyists for oil are going to keep making their mark on the Congress and the Senate.  Our own Senator from Kentucky went into the Senate in 1984 with promises and in true fashion, he has allowed Washington to manipulate him into being one of the biggest proponents of oil.  

Why are we not investing more into solar, wind, and other renewable energies?  With all of our technology, it still amazes me that we need to worry about where the next big strike for oil will be and how to get it to everyone.  Funny but friends of mine that have been in the Middle East are shocked to learn that in Iran and Iraq they only pay an average of 25 cents per gallon of gas.  25 cents!!!!   And here in our little corner we have averaged around 3.50 this year.  

Mr. President, I know that you have made promises on renewable energies.  How about achieving them now?  Our country could benefit by having natural gas vehicles or even solar-powered ones.  The recent flight to New York of the solar-powered plane proves we can do this.  Oil needs to become extinct like the dinosaurs that made it and then we the common person can quit worrying about oil prices.  Sad to say even Al Gore gets it.      https://realitydrop.org/#myths/102    All you have to do is get it started Mr. President.

But that is just our little corner of the world.

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Cat fever?

You know it is funny when I think about it.  We have 5 animals in the house.  There are 3 dogs and 2 cats.  The dogs are a 13 years old chihuahua, a 2 year old shepherd/chow mix, and a 2 year old mini-pin.  The 2 cats are a 3 year old black persian mix and a 2 year old gray tabby.  The funny part is that Saya, the black cat, actually raised Max from a puppy and Max considers himself to be a cat.  Imagine if you will a 75 pound shepherd/chow mix on the arm of your couch or love seat going to sleep.  Max chases the cats and they chase him.  Meanwhile, as if caught up in a major tennis battle, Tico, the chihuahua and Remus, the mini-pin, sit back and watch with delight as this continues until someone gets tired and the chase becomes a hissy fit - usually the gray tabby, Scratch.  As I have been around these animals the past several years, it amazes me at the personality that each of them have developed since they became part of our family.  Like kids, they each have depressions, anger, happiness and sadness.  To them, being alone is the worst thing we could do to them but it is all forgiven as soon as we pet them and hug on them.  Even the cats come in to the mix for some good old fashioned scratching and loving.  Like kids, there is a sibling rivalry amongst all of the animals.  There is jealousy because someone got more attention than another did or their piece of fat from a steak was bigger than the other piece was.  How like a family we all are.  

My cats are the funniest part.  Typical cats sit around and sleep instead of getting involved.  I have always disliked cats because they have this “attitude” that they will decide when something will be done.  However, Scratch changed all that for me.  I still do not consider myself to be a cat lover; however, no one better hurt Scratch.  Scratch can take care of himself.  In our little kingdom, Scratch will lay back, slap out a paw and hiss like a snake at Max when the chase has gone too far.  I can’t help but laugh when this little 6 pound cat thinks it can take on a 75 pound dog that could swallow him in one bite.  If nothing else, all of the animals in the house especially the cats are entertaining.image

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