Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Welcome (Back) to the 1950s

After reading this,

I had to:

Good advice in the Instapundit article, and great nostalgia for us boomers in the latter.

Remember the 10 AM last Friday of the month drills? The air raid sirens would wail, and we would duck and cover under our desks.

Daily fallout levels as part of the weather forecast.

A very graphic article in the L.A. Times Sunday edition about what would happen if a 10 or 20 kiloton A-bomb were detonated in the L. A. Coliseum. (My house was almost, but not quite on the edge of not being FUBAR'd.)

The Home section at the L. A. County Fair featuring fallout and bomb shelter displays.

Good times.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Flag is, After All, Just A Bit Of Cloth...,

...and a word is just a sound.

Most of us really don't understand that it is what we tell ourselves about our perceptions that is our reality, not the perception.  For example, back in the last century (1973), my first job after college was working as a part-time pool teller for a state-wide bank. The "Central Division" primarily served the black community in the area bounded by Adams to Slauson on the north and south, and  Sepulveda to Vermont on the east and west.

I spent probably more than a month at the Santa Barbara and Vermont branch, which was located just a couple of blocks from the L. A. Coliseum in Exposition Park. This is the picture you see in the encyclopedia for the entry "Predominantly Black Community".   As usual, I showed up in suit and tie, carrying my briefcase.  I parked my car, walked to the door, and knocked. I was admitted, and taken to meet the startling Charles, the Operation s Officer. He was a black man, about my size.

"Startling", because he sported a well-kept and moderately large Afro. He was also wearing a bright orange Dashiki, and had very well-done gold star implants on his two front teeth. Being the young, white-bread guy that I was, I wondered if I was going to get out of the neighborhood alive.That was start of what I told myself (the "conversation") when I walked in the door. The conversation continued with, "Well, I call in and leave, so I guess I'll just hang in. go to work, and see what happens.

What happened was, over the month or so I was there, I developed  good working relationships with Charles, June, the assistant  manager, and the other employees..  (I also met Mo, whom I worked with at the Culver City branch.) I even learned what I will call the then current "Black Bro Greeting (BBG)." My wife told me later that many of the white guests at the division Christmas party seemed shocked when I went over to Charles and Jue, and greeted them with the BBG. Bottom line, I had more fun in that branch than in any other, and made temporary friends there that I find myself missing as I write this.

The take-away... have that first conversation, whatever it may be, don't fight it, but don't hold on to it. Let it pass. That clears your brain so you can have the rest of the conversation, which in my case, now sounded like, "Well, that *may* be so, but lets step back and see who this person really is." I said on Twitter that getting over racism is easy. "All" you have to do is continue with the conversation that starts "Omygod, I'm gonna die!", and let yourself be open to what might actually be in front of you.

The greatest benefit of have that complete conversation with yourself is that you are more relaxed, and more apt to treat the person in front of you with respect and courtesy. I find this approach works for me with anyone, regardless of the appearance of the person in front of me, be they black, white, hispanic, gay. straight, other LGBPBJ or any other subset of the human race you care to define.  I strongly suggest you try it sometime, and see what happens. Back in the day, we called it "Tricking your brain". It works. Or, what you feel depends on what you think.

That said, I present a flag, and a word, below the fold. (One guess each which flag and what word.) Have the complete conversation with yourself. Give it a try, and enjoy.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day, Guys...

For Father's Day, Grif and I are going to the Petco/Vetco clinic to finish up his shots and get his heartworm test (4DX).

Found this, thought I'd share:

Keep loving those kids, and keep giving them all the advice they can ignore. (I have *yet* to pick out any clothes that my daughter would wear. "Oh, Dad..." was the usual.)

Love you, kiddo!