IN THE SLOW LANE

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT!

I'm watching a popular, I believe the most popular, morning TV show in the US.  Don't often watch and here's why:

Take the "Investigative Report" this morning:  Fraudulent products being touted as safety harnesses, seats, etc. for pets riding in cars.  The pet safety industry has no federal regulations!    In tests, pets were blown to pieces, thrown from cars, strangled, mangled, and mentally messed up due to these ineffective devices.  Lord save us!  [To my way of thinking, the safest, cheapest option: leave beloved Fido or Fluffy at home.]

Last July, the report was firecracker safety.  To demonstrate the power and potential danger of fireworks, the reporter stuck a large firecracker in a large watermelon, and lit it.  Blew that sucker to smithereens! [Isn't he the lucky one?  I'm guessing that's something the reporter dreamed of doing since he was a small boy.] 

Earlier in 2015, the "Investigative Report" dealt with the effectiveness of your basic bloodhound.  (Bloodhounds imported from the deep south had given chase to a pair of NY fugitives.)  The reporter, pulled by a genuine, baying bloodhound, gave chase through a residential neighborhood, 'round and 'round, with the hound never loosing scent.  Diagrams showed their perilous route under clotheslines, in and out of garages, etc.  [Why they must've covered at least a block and a half!] 

Now these approaches would be effective on a kiddie show.  This is not a kiddie show.  The "Investigative Report" segment, so dumbed-down, might better be billed as "Jeff's Jokes." 

I'm really old.  I remember when an investigative report brought down the President of the United States.  I guess Woodward and Berstein blew up watermelons as boys.

    

 

High Above.......

I'm not talking boozing on a Christmas flight.  I'm talking Mt. Everest from 20,000 feet!  I suppose some person in their eighth decade has climbed it, but it won't be me.  I do remember quite clearly when Sir Hillary first scaled Everest.

Anyhow, I'm talking a drone's eye view across Nepal eventually ending with Everest and the Ana sister peaks. (Or are they brothers?)  

The Himalayas!  To my eye, the video is breath-taking.  I forwarded it to a friend, a precise, no-nonsense friend.  She, in turn, pointed out in her inimitable way that Everest is now covered with garbage. Duh!

Now I'm thinking maybe that's the point?   Why not look at our lives from a higher elevation, a higher plane, where the beauty shines forth.  Of course, there is garbage.  But why focus on garbage when the overall picture is beauty?  [I know, not easy these days.]  

If we rose higher still, we might might find ourselves laughing at our stupidity. We may foolishly extinguish ourselves, but the joke's on us.  The planet will survive.

In the meantime, I'm gonna drink in life's beauty.  And drink to it!

From the slow lane, BEST WISHES FOR THE HOLIDAYS!      

Dancing the Fire...

Okay, this is what some folks call "woo-woo".  You know, weird if you don't get it, strange and a little scary.  Scary because, it's unknown, unfamiliar.  

Here's the thing:  I believe it is familiar, only forgotten.  Our societies and lives have been become easier, safer through science and technology.  Yet,  folks tend to lead wild, frenetic lives.  If thought of as drum beats, our lives, out of sync, too loud, too soft, by turn.  Crazy, un-dancable beat most of the time.

Drumming, the physical act of drumming, has reminded me of the beauty and tranquility, energy and action, syncopation and synchronicity, that is ours.  As one drums, the drum eventually becomes the drummer.  It is an altered state, a meditation.  It is your beat alone as well as that of the universe.

Drumming with others for the first time in ages, I remembered a night on an island some years ago, a women's retreat. About twenty or so of us sat around the campfire drumming or using noise makers, bells, rattles, etc.  The campfire was huge and we began to move, to dance around it.  Somehow, I discovered a certain movement caused the fire to recede or lick toward me  It was amazing!  I was dancing the fire!   

[I know what you're thinking.  No alcohol, weed, peyote, prescription drugs were ingested, snorted, smoked, or dreamed of.  Pure drumbeat.]

And the point is?  Perhaps we are living in a parallel universe.  Perhaps we've forgotten our magic.  Perhaps dancing to our inner drum outwardly, in whatever way we do this, will result in enough vibrant, peaceful energy to to transcend this world, perhaps heal it in time.

Okay, scoff, if you will.  How's the world working out?  

 

ROAD RAGE!

Something's wrong.  Besides little school kids huddled beneath bullet-proof blankets, we have the road rage epidemic.

I, myself, became a victim just yesterday.  No, I wasn't injured; my beloved vintage ride undamaged.  Nevertheless, I was brought up short.

Entering a parking lot the wrong way on a one-way street, I was startled by frantic honking behind me.  "Okay, okay,"  I'm thinking.  "Relax, I know it's wrong. Won't do it again."  I bumble through the unfamiliar lot when behind me, honking again.  The same blonde woman in the same white van.  "Okay, B----, get lost," to myself.  I park the car when horrors, this woman stands outside my window!  A tall, blonde woman.

"Uh, what is it you want?"  Is my tail pipe dragging, is my car on fire, what?"   The tall blonde says in a german-accented voice "You seem to be lost.  Can I help you?"

This took place on a military base; the woman, no doubt, a soldier's wife from Germany.  Good grief!  I've become a crazy American, sure that all horns are honked in anger, shocked when someone offers help.  Especially to an old lady.

Sad to say, American old folks are often mocked and treated with little or no respect.  I understood completely when I heard the accent.

BULLET-PROOF BLANKETS

Something's wrong, I mean really wrong.  A social network posting shows a photo of little kids curled up on the floor covered by bullet-proof blankets. I point my finger at George Bush casting blame for lifting the ban on assault rifles.  But he's only one person.  What are the rest of us doing? 

Prayer is often suggested and who can deny its soothing effects?  But God cannot fix it.  

I wish in my heart I could suggest a solution.  I cannot find a smidgeon of humor or even sarcasm to address this situation.  My heart is broken for my country that prizes gun-dollars over the lives of it's most precious assets.

PARIS

What's to say that hasn't been said?  I'm talking Paris and the hideous events of the weekend.  Americans and the world flash the tri-color of France, appropriate and understandable expression of solidarity and sympathy.

But maybe, just maybe before we do the knee-jerk John Wayne shoot-from-the-hip action so popular with redneck America, we might ask why?  Why has this happened?  The US bears a huge share  of the blame

After 9-11, George Bush and his greedy little band of war criminals concoct war for the agrandisement of Bush's ego and to obscenely enlarge personal coffers.  The cost in tax dollars, astronomical, the cost in lives, unforgiveable.  (Tax dollars that are increasingly denied to aid our vanishing middle class.)

Why do they hate us so?  Are they jealous?  I don't think so.  Perhaps they wish us to butt the hell out of their business, get out and leave them to their own devices.  "But they don't have democracy," the hippocrits cry.  Translation:  "They have oil and by God, we're gonna get it."

Why do we hate them so, the refugees we've helped create?  We fear them when armed rednecks freely walk our streets?  We, a nation of loose cannons?  How crazy is that?

No one can condone acts of terror carried out in the name of religion or anything else.  But how do we rationalize our supposedly loving Christianity with the perpetuation of war,     our desire to refuse aid to the refugees we have created?  Our refusal to leave the Middle East to it's own destiny.  Our unholy greed?

I'm an old woman living in the slow lane, but I totally agree with the Dali Lama.  No need to pray to God to fix this mess.  God did not create it.  Humans did.  Humans must fix it.

THE THING IS, WE SEEM TOO STUPID TO DO SO!

 

 

THE VOICE OF REASON

The voice of reason.  I always think it calm, rational, maybe even polite.  For instance Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes might have spoken respectfully to the of the United States rather than yelling him down in Fox Pretend News format.  [Has Rupert Murdoch has won the battle against calm, rational thinking seeing as how FPN's rude, wild-eyed attack mode has become acceptable everywhere?  Or is Kroft bucking for a job at FPN?]

Whatever, I, myself, confess to slipping into meltdown, raving maniac mode this past weekend.  Yep, I made false accusations without the facts.  Assumptions boiled in my brain.  I yelled, maybe not quite as rudely as Steve Kroft, at innocent persons.

Techies tried to calm me; I fumed, sputtered, and wept.  But the voice of reason finally came through, my own.  Blinking green light?  Think batteries.

As a result of this escapade, I'm thinking of designing a tiny little plastic bracelet that would begin frantic green-light flashing when activated by rising blood pressure.  The green light of reason bracelet.  Most everyone needs one these days.  Unless, of course, your lane is so slow you ignore the news and own no technology.

I THINK I'M ON TO SOMETHING! 

 

   

THE GOOD FATHER

A friend's former husband has died at the ripe old age of 88.  I never laid eyes on the man, knew him only through her words, sometimes mocking and bitter.  But her words came tender when speaking of first years together, their happiness parenting five kids.  He was a hands-on father back in the day, sixty odd years ago. Pretty unusual, you have to admit.

The family left their native Canada.  Exchanged a Canadian slow lane for rural Kentucky and hard life running a roadside restaurant/filling station.  

When the kids were in high school, the man devloped an "itch" from which he never recovered.  The open road called.  Deserted the family.  Drove trucks and chased women.  Married some of them. Saw his kids only a few times through the next 40 years or so. That's about it.

Not a flattering obit.  But wait a minute.  Didn't he succeed in the most import job in the world?  He was good father to his family in the formative years.  Though he mangled lots of life, he got that part right.  

 

 

     

 

KENTUCKY FRIED ROOSTERS

I've been thinking about chickens these days.  An old black and white photo from the twenties got me going.  A robust woman and her three kiddies stand amid white chickens, kind of an ocean of feathers. They smile and the little girl with a perky bow atop a flapper cut is my mother.  Mother was always fond of white chickens, happy, hopeful memories of a Colorado homestead.

My experience with chickens is more like a horror movie.  As a wee girl, watching my grandmother hook a hen by the leg with a long wire, then the chopping block, bloody flapping..........I was horrified.  Wouldn't eat chicken for years till somehow Grandma convinced me it was all right to eat wings.  Without feathers, wings don't look much like a chicken.

My chicken karma is not good.  Eating wings must've set it off.  I have been attacked by nearly every white rooster I've ever met.  First as a girl toting scraps to the neighbors' chickens.  Though we lived in a small town, chickens were common.  Hens were penned, but for some reason the rooster ran loose.  He'd charge, flapping and squawking, then turn nasty, old chicken feet first.  Never got me, but I almost forgot I was potty trained.  I complained loud and often to my mother until one day she said, "Give me the bucket."  Off she went and that old, white devil went for her.  She konked him on the head, killed him dead.  I loved it.

As an adult living in the country, I had a neighbor with a pet white rooster named, get this, Peep.  What a demon, that one!  Hid in the shrubbery by the front door.  Came at you like he was straight from hell.  When I tended her horses, I mean, I'd drop kick him across the barn, he'd just keep coming back.  Yet Peep would jump up into the neighbor's arms all docile and sweet.  I  hated him.

Time moved on and Peep departed this life.  When the neighbor's husband, doleful and moist-eyed, told me the sad news, only divine intervention kept me from laughing in his face. I pictured Peep with Colonel Sanders being forever Kentucky fried.  YES!

[Colonel Sanders, white-suited and white-haired, reputedly had the temperament of a white rooster.]

 

 

 

 

AIR GUITAR & THE METHANE PARTY

World Air Guitar Championships coming up in Finland.  I like the idea.  I mean anybody with a pulse and lots of moves can enter.  Democracy at its best.  And the kicker, hot air guitar lasts only a few days. Probably doesn't add much to global warming, aside from contestants smoking a little weed, discharging  a little fast food methane.  

Now, contrast this to the current US predicament. Presidential candidates, especially the clown acts, bombard us day and night with never-ending streams of hot air.  Elections more than a year away!  

Like air guitar contestants, these candidates need nothing but a pulse and tricky moves to qualify.  Single-digit IQ's, Halloween hair, serial trophy wives, racism, chauvinist pigism?  No problem.  FPN (Fox Pretend News) has only itself to blame.   

Some of these acts are pretty funny, but after so long, stupid is just stupid.

Do these folks smoke weed?  I don't know.  But prodigous amounts of methane they release, more than all the cows in the slow lane, could spontaneously explode or maybe ignite a new party -- THE METHANE  PARTY!  

No worries about global warming.  They don't believe in it.

 

 

 

LUNATICS AT LARGE--The Debate

I'm referring, of course, to the Republican debate hosted by Fox Entertainment News (FEN).  Now admittedly, I didn't see the debate. In the golden age of FEN, my hearsay is good as any.  

I meant to watch, but I'm an old lady that had a busy day and well, after dinner, I just fell asleep.  Seems to be a common affliction among many American voters much younger than me. 

Bright-eyed this morning I watched corpulent Christie, the turnpike bully, out scream curly-headed Paul.  Such amazing hair!

Speaking of hair, that leads us to Donald, "the Trumpet," (loud, brassy, sadly out of tune).  I don't mind telling you I nearly choked on my coffee when it was reported he won't support any nominee but himself.  Maybe an independent run.  Woohoo!  Great news for Democrats!

Seriously, I gotta ask you, who in his/her right mind would vote for a wild-eyed candidate sporting orange halloween hair who actually filed suit against a comedian who suggested that he, "the Trumpet," was birthed by an orange-maned orangutang.  Though the resemblence is amazing, you have to wonder at a man too stupid to recognize a joke.  

So what if the man has bad hair, you may ask?  Listen, the real problem is, his hare-brained ideas.  Please, all you rabbits out there, no lawsuits.  It's a joke.  As far as I know, Trumpet's never had a brain transplant.

LUNATICS AT LARGE

Another trial, another massacre.  Terrorists everywhere!  Shoot-outs the norm.  We need more guns.  Guns don't kill people, people kill people!  (Isn't that dumbest slogan of all?)

Are we crazy?  Fifty years from now will we romanticize this everyday slaughter, you know, the smart phone age of automatic gunfire, every citizen armed and at the ready.  Surely, by that time the majority of citizens will recognize how utterly ridiculous to be in the clutches of the likes of Wayne LaPierre.  

After every episode, the highest government officials, as well as men of the cloth tearfully offer sympathy and prayers to the families of the victims.  

Praying to get this lunatic gun society under control would make more sense to me.  I don't think God likes guns.  Can you imagine his son toting?

Me neither!

  

Wiggly Circles

I just drew a wiggly circle.  So?  Well, I liked the way it looked.  The "unstraightness"  did not offend me.  The wiggles mean, though my hand is not as steady, I can still hold a pen and I know what a a circle is.  Aren't you the lucky one?

Please, no sarcasm.  Happy years went into the wiggly circle.  My hands cooked and cleaned, admittedly with only moderate enthusiasm.  Cuddled babies with great ethusiasm, buckled Mary Janes, sewed little jackets for little boys, and stylish numbers for my once tall, elegant self.  Self, wider now and wiggly, is still quite servicable.  Time marches on. 

Yes, well, I held a pen to write grocery lists, thank-you notes, and to correspond with relatives and friends.  Didn't do it instantly by "thumb" in the olden days and it was usually private, not intended for the entire universe.  My privates were private.  

Marked dates on the calendar with swift, round circles having maybe a cute little tail at the overlap. So many circles, so much life.  And?

You don't get it, do you?  My hand has become less steady because I've lived a long time. I know a lot. Some consider me wise. I'm old and proud of it!  You really mean that?

I LOVE THOSE WIGGLY CIRCLES! 

 

Genetics & Ghosts

Would you believe my lovely picture mentioned earlier zoomed into cyberspace, nevermore to land on my page?  Not only that, it kidnapped a clever little essay. 

Several decades ago, I had excellent photograghy karma, but not these days.  Gremlins living in my mac drag photos into an imaginary cloud and demand ransom of some kind.  What a fool I was thinking I'd left those gremlins behind when my faithful PC gave up the ghost. 

Actually, I did quite well in the olden days with a 35mm Minolta.  Now days, any blind dog can tape a video or catch unforgettable pics with a phone.  Why can't I?

The answer may be genetic.  My grandmother was a woman who broke things mechanical by walking into a room.  My mom wasn't much better.  I have a neice who replaces her vacuum cleaner every three months.  For most of my numerous years, this trait seemed to be dormant.  Has it surfaced as a photo-techno-fobia?

Another theory:  My PC did not die a natural death.  It's ancient word program was better than the one I now use. [Sorry, Mac.]  True, some websites snubbed it, but it wasn't that feeble and got me where I needed to go in decent time.  Alas, I had it euthenized.  Is it haunting me?

I'm going to think about it this way:  Maybe the world's a better place without photos from the slow lane.  

ABOUT THE PHOTO

Yep, it's me. You probably wouldn't recognize me if it was your good fortune to see me on the street.  Why?  Well, I'm not exactly in disguise, but I no longer wear glasses.  Fortunately, I have not lost my eye sight, just my cataract.  

The hat?  Sits on my head about once a month or so. Uh-huh, I'm one of those corny old Red Hat ladies.   But I do not do gloves and lace.  Mostly a blue jeans person.

The hair is the same, a lovely silver, what's  left of it, but so long it stays in a top knot these days.  I'm a lazy old lady and it's easy. 

I know what you're thinking.  This is not an honest picture.  Well, yeah, it hides my double chin and I'm a few years older, but all the celebrities do it.  I remind you of a blatant, recent example:  My girlfriend and yours, Caitlyn Jenner.

I saw her swollen, aged ankles in a family post.  And her hair is thinner than mine.  I've heard it took Harper's folks 24 hours to get her ready for the shoot.  [Just kidding.  It was only 10.]  Wonder how being a woman is working for her?  

This sounds cruel, but she would be out of place in the slow lane, not because of the gender switch, but because she's living as a teenager (makeup and clothing obsessed.)  Does she constantly text her girlfriends?  My friends and I have grandchildren with the same mindset.  

I fear poor Caitlyn hasn't a clue. 

 

PS  And I haven't a clue!  iCloud ate the picture and won't give it back!

WHAT WOULD CONFUCIUS SAY?

The Chinese have pretty much been a keep-to-themselves people.  The great wall and all.  Times have changed and nowdays they welcome barbarian ruan and are polite to foreign visitors, for the most part not making fun of them.  

 

Rich-beyond-their-wildest-dreams Chinese have even become tourists themselves.  These folks are easily recognized.  I won't say they misbehave, but they resemble Texans on steroids.  Very exuberant.  And they will take a picture of anything.  I mean anything!

 

Should you heed nature's call on a wilderness expedition that includes these folks, beware!  As you "hang a moon" to relieve yourself, like as not, a grinning Chinese lurks in the background sending the event straight to Facebook.  I'm not making this up.  A friend reported this very thing on a recent Antarctic expedition.

 

Meanwhile, back in the homeland, clever entrepreneurs are interested in the other end of the foreigner.  They scour bars and touristy places recruiting handsom American and European types.   They dress these guys impeccably, groom them till they're suave and debonair.  All this to act as shills at grand openings of mammoth apartment complexes that sell for mammoth piles of ruan.  They pose as filthy rich lawyers, engineers, CEO's, interested buyers.  "Great fun," says an Aussie.  "You can be anyone you want to be."

 

It's called renting a foreigner.  Wonder if they get to keep the clothes?  

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