Archive for December, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 57,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 13 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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“Lots of people think they’re charitable if they give away their old clothes and things they don’t want.”~ Myrtle Reed

As Christmas Day is now a few days passed us, I’m still thinking about one story that I heard about via Facebook, that just blew me away to the point of my heart just melting and tears forming in the corners of my eyes.

It was a true story of charity that happened. I will however for this blog’s sake paraphrase and hope that in my telling of this story, I get it accurate.

When I heard about what had happened, I sent a message to the person today, to see if I could have her tell the story of her charitable deed done on Christmas Day.

A woman in North Carolina was getting gasoline just shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday when she was having a conversation with a sweet elderly woman who was working at the gas station/store.

The woman had asked the employee what her plans for Christmas were. And the elderly employee had replied that she had nobody to celebrate either holiday with and she had no remaining family left and therefore she would be working on both holidays, that way she could allow for others to spend time with their own families.

It was a sad moment for the woman getting gasoline to the point she mentioned that it broke her heart.

On Christmas Day, the same woman from North Carolina had stopped on the way back from a Christmas family dinner and stopped at a different location and found the woman to be working there. Surprisingly enough, the amount of Christmas gifts that she had in her vehicle was one too many for her family and friends, so she ended up finding the elderly woman and giving her that gift so that she could say that she shared in just that brief moment, some kindness and love on Christmas Day.

This random act of kindness, or RAK, was just the thing that I was most happy to see come across Facebook on Christmas Day this year.  With the previous days of post after post after post after post of people sharing what they had received, in a sense of “LOOK WHAT I GOT!”– this was more of a post of “Look at what has been done.”

This story is inspirational, heart warming and breaking at the same time, and true. I told the woman who explained it that I had wished I lived closer so that I could hug her because it was the most awesome thing I had heard that happened this Christmas. Instead of watching people post about their fancy-dancy and expensive Christmas gifts, a post was displayed from one person’s act of charity and love.

I just wished that there were more stories like this on the Internet. But there isn’t. The tale of charity had actually lifted away the depressing feelings for myself as I sat here at home all alone with nobody to share with. I received a telephone call from various family members but that was about it. That was my Christmas this year.

Hearing about this story, really got me to think though. It really began to change how I feel about people and society in general. Even though I’ve had some difficult times recently, there are some people out there who are full of love and acts of selflessness rather than hatred and violence.

What do you think about this story? What kinds of charitable things have you done recently?

 

 

 

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“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom. “~ Bob Dylan 

Earlier on this Christmas Eve, the compliment or at least the opinion was given that I am a hero.

And I had to stop and think. Did I respond? Did I give them words of appreciation? What do I do? What exactly IS a hero??

So I looked it up online. A definition is as follows:

A person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

Am I courageous? Am I brave? Did I fit the definition by my deeds and qualities??

Perhaps the definition is still too general. Because I believe that many people would say that certain others are heroes for a myriad of different personal reasons.

One thing that I have always noted that whenever someone had been called a hero, and that person who was called one has always denied it to be true. No matter what they had done and no matter how much courage and ability they had shown, they never actually replied in a manner of “yes I am” to anyone who had asked them if they thought that they were.

I believe that in the most recent case with regards to me, my actions of courage and bravery were there because I simply have made a decision that I will not allow any kinds of physical aggression to be used against me, against my family, against anyone that I hold dear to my heart in life. I will not stand for it, in any sense. I choose NOT to be a victim because one may perceive me as weak and vulnerable and an easy target.

And therefore since I show resistance and defense, it could be seen by others as an act of courage and bravery. Yet in doing so, there’s always a 50/50 chance for anyone involved that the outcome of such defense against lawlessness and aggression would not lean in that person’s favor. Including myself.

But through a series of life lessons and a level head, so far I have prevailed more than once.

Am I a hero then in that sense? What do you think? Do I become self-centered and a prick if I was to say that I am??

Who are the heroes in your life? Why do you think that the person is a hero? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

Non Thoughtful Nincompoop

Posted: December 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

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“Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.”~Erma Bombeck

Now the entire world is done talking about the Mayans, we press on closer and closer to Christmas Day. It will be here before we know it!

With that said, today was the Christmas party for the complex that I live at. I must say that today is probably the most memorable party yet.

It was the first time that I had ever eaten chocolate covered potato chips. It was also the first time that I had cream cheese in soy sauce and sesame seeds.

However it was the gift exchange that basically takes the plate of Christmas cookies that you intend on leaving out on Christmas Eve, and throws them all into the sink before shoving them down the garbage disposal.

The gift exchange is not an activity that participated by everyone who attends. But a large number of people do. The idea is that you give a gift before receiving one. Plain and simple. And there’s even a cap of $10 for reach gift. No gifts to be purchased more than that.

So then today after some interesting snack foods and some unusual “caroling” if you will, the gift exchange began.

Each person taking their time to open things before the next person got up to make their selection for a gift.

The rest of this story is something that I couldn’t make up even if I tried:

It wasn’t enough to be greedy this past Wednesday as it was their monthly acts of greed during Food Pantry distribution, but now we have the desperate to do anything to take part in the gift exchange.

The neighbor sitting next to me was called up to pick a gift and when she sat down and opened it up, she found a woman’s wallet inside.

ONE USED WOMAN’S WALLET. Complete with wear & tear.

Now I am given to understand that there is either a tradition or superstition that if you are giving a wallet as a gift, that you leave some small amount of cash inside of it. I do not know if that is for luck or just the beginnings of actually having the purpose of a wallet.

This worn out wallet had no cash in it. But instead, was a photograph of someone’s brother in it. That someone being another neighbor.

The gifter literally just thought that they would empty out a wallet and throw it in a bag, and that would be sufficient enough to participate in the ritual of receiving something different and new in return.

So the person who received the wallet took the photograph over to the person and gave it back. Then the person was humiliated, NOT for the fact that she had been busted by someone who knows her well or by someone who is smart enough to realize that this is not a new gift, but rather the fact that her identity was revealed because she left that photograph inside the used wallet.

How lame, lazy, and cheap must one be? If the limit on a gift is $10 then why couldn’t that person have gone over to the corner store and just purchased some scratch off lottery tickets? Even if it was just one for $1.

And now I am understanding that some way, some how, that gifter miraculously has walked away from this party by receiving two gifts. That one, I am still scratching my head about.

People are strange.

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I learned this about American, and more specifically, Texas history this evening. It is a chilling story of how captured fighters to earn their independence from Mexico were systematically executed by something as small as chance.

The story begins on the 20th of December, 1842, the 308 Texan soldiers who ignored orders to pull back from the Rio Grande to Gonzales approached Ciudad Mier. They camped on the Texas side of the Rio Grande.

261 soldiers participated in the attack on the town, while the others remained behind as the camp guard.

The Texans were unaware that thousands of Mexican troops were in the area under the command of Generals Francisco Mejia and Pedro de Ampudia.

Although they inflicted heavy casualties on the Mexicans, 650 dead and 200 wounded, the Texans were forced to surrender on the day after Christmas Day.

243 Texans were taken prisoner and marched toward Mexico City via Matamoros and Monterrey for punishment.

On the 11th of February, 1843, 181 Texans escaped, but the lack of food and water in the mountainous Mexican desert forced 176 to surrender or be recaptured by the end of the month.

When the prisoners arrived in Saltillo, Coahuila, they learned an outraged Santa Anna ordered the execution of all the escapees, but Governor Francisco Mexía of the state of Coahuila refused to follow the order.

The new commander, Colonel Domingo Huerta, moved the prisoners to El Rancho Salado. By this time, diplomatic efforts on behalf of Texas by the foreign ministers of the United States and Great Britain led Santa Anna to compromise that only one in ten would die. Which is the definition of decimation– one-tenth.

To help determine who would die Huerta had 159 white beans and seventeen black beans placed in a pot. In what came to be known as the Black Bean Episode or the Bean Lottery, the Texans were blindfolded and ordered to draw beans. Officers and then enlisted men, in alphabetical order, were ordered to draw. The seventeen men who drew a black bean were allowed to write letters home and then were executed by firing squad.

On the evening of 25th of March, 1843, the Texans were shot in two groups, one of nine men and one of eight. According to legend, Huerta placed the black beans in last and had the officers pick first, so that they would make up the majority of those killed.

The first Texan to draw a black bean was Major James D. Cocke. As a witness recalled, Cocke held up the bean between his forefinger and thumb, and with a smile of contempt, said, “Boys, I told you so; I never failed in my life to draw a prize.” He later told a fellow Texan, “They only rob me of forty years.” Fearing that the Mexicans would strip his body after he was dead, he removed his pants and gave them to a companion whose own clothing was in worse shape. He was shot with the sixteen others who drew black beans on that gruesome day. His last words were reported to have been, “Tell my friends I die with grace.”

The seventeen that drew black beans in the lottery were James Decatur Cocke, William Mosby Eastland, Patrick Mahan, James M. Ogden, James N. Torrey, Martin Carroll Wing, John L. Cash, Robert Holmes Dunham, Edward E. Este, Robert Harris, Thomas L. Jones, Christopher Roberts, William N. Rowan, James L. Shepherd, J. N. M. Thompson, James Turnbull, and Henry Walling.

Shepherd survived the firing squad by pretending to be dead. The guards left him for dead in the courtyard, and he escaped in the night but was recaptured and shot. Eastland County, Texas is named after William Mosby Eastland.

Captain Ewen Cameron had drawn a white bean, but was ordered executed anyway by Santa Anna. As he waited to die, Cameron refused to confess to a priest. Standing before the firing squad, Cameron declined the offer of a blindfold, declaring, “For the liberty of Texas, Ewen Cameron can look death in the face.” He then opened his hunting shirt and yelled at his executioners, “Fuego!”, meaning fire in Spanish.

The white bean survivors, including Bigfoot Wallace, and Samuel Hamilton Walker finished the march to Mexico City and were imprisoned at Perote Castle along with the fifteen survivors from the Dawson Massacre. Some of the Texans escaped from Perote or died there, but most remained captive until they were released, by order of Santa Anna, on the 16th of September, 1844.

Captain Ewen Cameron sure had some balls to face off against his executioners as he did so. Even after drawing a white bean, his fate can be seen by many to be unjust and unfair.

But to think about how a man’s life would be decided by the drawing of something as simple back then as a bean, had to be terrifying. The rest as they say is actual history.

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“See the moon rise, as the sun dies.”~ Well Of Souls

As I sit here groggy and obviously defeated for any measurable amount of rest and sleep, I am here to speak about this subject and will only do so once. Even though I believe that I shouldn’t be paying any attention to it at all in the first place.

The 21st of December in the year 2012 is just another day closer and after some rather swift research these past few days, I am astounded to find that there are still some people who believe that the Mayan calendar is true to the end of days.

How many times has the prediction been made? Of course ALL of them wrong within the past 2,000 years:
500
6 April 793
800
799-806
848
992-992
1 January 1000
1033
1184
1186
1260
1284
1290
1335
1346-1351
1370
1378
1504
1 February 1524
20 February 1524
1525
1528
27 May 1528
1533
19 October 1533
5 April 1533
1585
1588
1600
1 February 1624
1648
1654
1656
1657
1658
1660
1666
1673
1688
1689
1674
1697
1700
1705-1708
1716
5 April 1719
1700-1734
5 April 1736
1736
16 October 1736
1757
1780
1789
1792-1795
19 November 1795
1805
1806
25 December 1814  (Umm, really???)
1836
28 April 1843
31 December 1843
21 March 1844
22 October 1844
7 August 1847
1847
1853-1856
1862
1863
1873
1874
1878
1881
1890
1892
1899
1901
1908
1910
1914
1915
1916
1920
13 February 1925
1925
1935
1936
1941
1943
1947
21 December 1954
22 April 1959
4 February 1962
1967
9 August 1969
1969
1972
1973
1975
1977
1981
19 March 1982
21 June 1982
2 October 1984
1985
1987-1988
30 September 1989
23 April 1990
1991
28 September 1992
28 October 1992
1993
2 May 1994
31 March 1995
17 December 1996
26 March 1997
23 October 1997
31 March 1998
18 July 1999
18 August 1999
31 December 1999 (Anyone remember Y2K?)
1 January 2000
6 April 2000
5 May 2000
9 October 2000
2001
29 November 2003
12 September 2006
29 April 2007
2010
21 May 2011
August-October 2011
29 September 2011
21 October 2011
27 May 2012

  • 21 December 2012

What I would love to know is why the first day of winter? It is beyond me.

Still there are one in ten people who believe the Mayans to be correct. A majority of the world no longer believe in the hype. However there are those who are so afraid of it. These are children. And I think that adults and parents need to talk to their children about this subject.

And there are even hundreds more predictions in the future from next year in 2013 to millions and millions of years from now. Many people of different walks of life, faith, and even scientists and other public figures with their own predictions. They’ve all got it wrong so far. What makes anyone believe someone will get it right, ever?

Even if someone does, the world is over and that person won’t be around to say I TOLD YOU SO!

The civilization who originally came up with this prediction has vanished from the Earth over a millennium ago. Keep that in mind too.

 

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“And the rest of you, who are standing there like Shropshire sheep!” -The Music Man

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I am far behind on this one. But many thanks to the most awesome VoM for bringing this terminology to my attention and knowledge. Because I had never heard of this word before.

Sheeple (a word combined of the two words “sheep” and “people”) is a term of disparagement in which people are likened to sheep. The term is used to describe those who voluntarily acquiesce to a suggestion without thinking for themselves  to make up their own mind about something.

A lot of these kinds of people are often found on the Internet. Allowing themselves to believe whatever someone else is believing, whether wrong or right.

It is sad to know that there are more people out there in this world who play “follow the leader” when they do not even understand or know who their leader is or what their leader is leading them towards. As long as they do not have to make any personal decisions for themselves, then they are fine by what others are telling them to do or believe.

Time and time again, I’ve stated that humans are full of faults. But this one really burns me to the point where I have rolled my eyes so far in the back of my head that I know what the inside of my occipital bone looks like. And that is BAD.

I hope that people will once again learn to think for themselves. I hope that they will do whatever it is that they want and not bother with the agendas of other people.

Sadly, when sheeple end up taking a bad direction they point the blame at someone else. The blame actually lies upon their own shoulders for allowing themselves to have given up the responsibility of thought and decision making.

There are so many examples out there on this term. But I will not go into a lengthy and boring process of doing so because the fact of the matter is that chances are you either know people who are like that or you are one. When I was researching examples, it had a lot to do with politics. And I will NOT get into that. Especially now.

But I will hold on to hope that people will come to realize that they need to make up their own minds and make up their own decisions when it comes to where to go in life.