Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Name

I guess you are kind of curious as to who I am, but I am one of those who do not have a regular name. My name depends on you. Just call me whatever is in your mind.

If you are thinking about something that happened a long time ago: Somebody asked you a question and you did not know the answer.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was raining very hard.
That is my name.
Or somebody wanted you to do something. You did it. Then they told you what you did was wrong—“Sorry for the mistake,””—and you had to do something else.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was a game that you played when you were a child or something that came idly into your mind when you were old and sitting in a chair near the window.
That is my name.
Or you walked someplace. There were flowers all around.
That is my name.
Perhaps you stared into a river. There was somebody near you who loved you. They were about to touch you. You could feel this before it happened. Then it happened.
That is my name.
Or you heard someone calling from a great distance. Their voice was almost an echo.
That is my name.
Perhaps you were lying in bed, almost ready to go to sleep and you laughed at something, a joke unto yourself, a good way to end the day.
That is my name.
Or you were eating something good and for a second forgot what you were eating, but still went on, knowing it was good.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was around midnight and the fire tolled like a bell inside the stove
That is my name.
Or you felt bad when she said that thing to you. She could have told it to someone else: Somebody who was more familiar with her problems.
That is my name.
Perhaps the trout swam in the pool but the river was only eight inches wide and the moon shone on IDEATH and the watermelon fields glowed out of proportion, dark and the moon seemed to rise from every plant.
That is my name.
And I wish Margaret would leave me alone.

Composed by Richard Brautigan; copied, pasted and posted, with love, of course, by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my name.

Monday, June 27, 2016

One goal


 Watching the Chile versus Mexico game reinforced my belief that you should never give up; NEVER.  After the third Chilean goal, the Mexican team basically gave up; and lost 7-0. 

Why should a team that is losing by a large margin keep playing?  Here’s one reason.

While in the Air Force, I regularly played soccer for my units’ teams.  During the winter, we played indoor soccer; which is a bit faster than regular soccer.   One time, we were playing against a really good team.   By the end of the first half, we were down 5-0.  Now, I don’t like losing at all… I was really frustrated that our team couldn’t see to get it together.

At the start of the second half, as we put the ball in play I fired a rocket; it went in.  5-1… the players on the other team started to get angry at each other because the defense didn’t stop the shot… hope rekindled???   We went to lose the game by 9-1…

At the end of the game, I was gloomy… then the goalkeeper from the other team came over and said to me:  “Over 8 games I have not allowed a single goal… Yet I never saw the ball from your shot…”  I laughed sympathetically, patted him on the back and parted our separate ways.


Despite our loss we did manage to dent the other team… The goalkeeper certainly thought so, and though we lost yet we managed to earn some respect from them.

Monday, December 21, 2015

We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are...


Ulysses

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.


         This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.


         There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
 
By:  Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Copied, Pasted and Loved by:  Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

One Muslim

Muslims... there's all kinds of postings out there in the 'la la land' of the internet. I don't offer any comments or opinions; the postings speak for themselves.  But I share one personal experience with Muslims.

First, I will admit that I don't know anything about Islam.  Yes, I have read a book or two but I cannot feel or empathize with the emotions associated with deeply held religious views and customs.  Second, with one exception, I personally don't know any Muslims other than casual business acquaintances.  For example, while in the military over the years I met various officers from Muslim countries, and have had a couple of Muslim clients.  However, I never got to know any of them personally.  This is not because of any reserve on my part; it's just more environmental.  In my life, I have not deal with many Muslims where I've lived and worked.

Having said this, the only Muslim that I know 'well' is a Pakistani TV personality with whom I have been friends close to 20 years now; yet we have never met in person.  In any case, we grew close over the years, shared lots of laughs & dreams electronically, and she has been a good confidant and friend.  She introduced me to William Carlos Williams and so much more.  Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the internet.

Earlier this year, she posted in her Facebook page the following: 

"Got mugged at gun point at 10:30 tonight parked near OPTP, Boat Basin. The jerk took my wedding and anniversary rings and some cash. So easy to carry guns and commit crime in public places despite an abundance of police and rangers patrolling almost everywhere.
Driving back home, holding my husband's hand I felt no remorse for losing the things, only gratitude which such incidents awaken and make us cherish life and relationships.
A part of me even felt sorry for the mugger...He also has only one life to live...what a waste to live it spreading terror and bad feelings...what a bad choice of life experiences he has opted for. May we all find peace within and around us. Amen."

I posted:

"Sorry about your mugging"
"wanted to say that only you could feel sorry for a mugger"

She responded:

"I actually felt sorry for him. I looked into his eyes and there was just anger and fear and greed. Such a waste of life. I prayed for him and all such people before I went to sleep."

I could only smile... 

***

As I said earlier, I don't know any Muslims other than her.  Yes, there are lots of stories in social media, etc.  But this is the one Muslim I know; and the world is a better place because of people like her.

For:  Abida
By:  Homeless with a Laptop, That is My Name

Monday, August 17, 2015

Scrimmage with Ronaldo

During World Cup 2014, there I was... ready to play a scrimmage. The coach said, "you're scrimmaging with Ronaldo"

"WOW... I'm going to scrimmage with Ronaldo!"  I said... "CR7 himself..."

I wondered how I got there and how I was going to play against Ronaldo. But that the heck. When opportunities arise, you don't sit there in wonder but rise to meet them.  I tied my cleats...

I looked around and there were a lot of guys just warming up.  We were all wearing white jerseys; no Real Madrid or Spanish Red;  but just white warm-up jerseys.

Then Ronaldo appeared.  He had that sneer on his face with that Ronaldo look 'I'm better than all of you; I know it and you know it'  

Well, I know he's better than me, but I'm going to give the little bastard all I got; I'll make him earn his arrogance today. 

We started the scrimmage...  all of the sudden the play is near goal (against Ronaldo) & I'm just lurking ...I know how to play center forward ... then I get a pass directly at me...

The goal is in front of me...

The goalkeeper looks at me [with fear???] and starts to come off his line...

"I can beat him"  methinks.

I get ready to lob a cannonball at him right out of his reach..

I kick the ball as hard as I can... 


The dog flies out of the bed and I wake up...

Dog looks at me like... "WTF was that..."

"I've been watching too many soccer matches on TV, Bob" Says I

(I name all my dogs "Bob") 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

True Functions of Government

True Functions of Government
New York Evening Post, November 21, 1834. Title added by Theodore Sedgwick, Jr. in editing A Collection of the Political Writings of William Leggett (1840).


The fundamental principle of all governments is the protection of person and property from domestic and foreign enemies; in other words, to defend the weak against the strong. By establishing the social feeling in a community, it was intended to counteract that selfish feeling, which, in its proper exercise, is the parent of all worldly good, and, in its excesses, the root of all evil. The functions of Government, when confined to their proper sphere of action, are therefore restricted to the making of general laws, uniform and universal in their operation, for these purposes, and for no other.

Governments have no right to interfere with the pursuits of individuals, as guarantied by those general laws, by offering encouragements and granting privileges to any particular class of industry, or any select bodies of men, inasmuch as all classes of industry and all men are equally important to the general welfare, and equally entitled to protection.

Whenever a Government assumes the power of discriminating between the different classes of the community, it becomes, in effect, the arbiter of their prosperity, and exercises a power not contemplated by any intelligent people in delegating their sovereignty to their rulers. It then becomes the great regulator of the profits of every species of industry, and reduces men from a dependence on their own exertions, to a dependence on the caprices of their Government. Governments possess no delegated right to tamper with individual industry a single hair's-breadth beyond what is essential to protect the rights of person and property.

In the exercise of this power of intermeddling with the private pursuits and individual occupations of the citizen, a Government may at pleasure elevate one class and depress another; it may one day legislate exclusively for the farmer, the next for the mechanic, and the third for the manufacturer, who all thus become the mere puppets of legislative cobbling and tinkering, instead of independent citizens, relying on their own resources for their prosperity. It assumes the functions which belong alone to an overruling Providence, and affects to become the universal dispenser of good and evil.

This power of regulating—of increasing or diminishing the profits of labour and the value of property of all kinds and degrees, by direct legislation, in a great measure destroys the essential object of all civil compacts, which, as we said before, is to make the social a counterpoise to the selfish feeling. By thus operating directly on the latter, by offering one class a bounty and another a discouragement, they involve the selfish feeling in every struggle of party for the ascendancy, and give to the force of political rivalry all the bitterest excitement of personal interests conflicting with each other. Why is it that parties now exhibit excitement aggravated to a degree dangerous to the existence of the Union and to the peace of society? Is it not that by frequent exercises of partial legislation, almost every man's personal interests have become deeply involved in the result of the contest? In common times, the strife of parties is the mere struggle of ambitious leaders for power; now they are deadly contests of the whole mass of the people, whose pecuniary interests are implicated in the event, because the Government has usurped and exercised the power of legislating on their private affairs. The selfish feeling has been so strongly called into action by this abuse of authority as almost to overpower the social feeling, which it should be the object of a good Government to foster by every means in its power.

No nation, knowingly and voluntarily, with its eyes open, ever delegated to its Government this enormous power, which places at its disposal the property, the industry, and the fruits of the industry, of the whole people. As a general rule, the prosperity of rational men depends on themselves. Their talents and their virtues shape their fortunes. They are therefore the best judges of their own affairs, and should be permitted to seek their own happiness in their own way, untrammelled by the capricious interference of legislative bungling, so long as they do not violate the equal rights of others, nor transgress the general laws for the security of person and property.

But modern refinements have introduced new principles in the science of Government. Our own Government, most especially, has assumed and exercised an authority over the people, not unlike that of weak and vacillating parents over their children, and with about the same degree of impartiality. One child becomes a favourite because he has made a fortune, and another because he has failed in the pursuit of that object; one because of its beauty, and another because of its deformity. Our Government has thus exercised the right of dispensing favours to one or another class of citizens at will; of directing its patronage first here and then there; of bestowing one day and taking back the next; of giving to the few and denying to the many; of investing wealth with new and exclusive privileges, and distributing, as it were at random, and with a capricious policy, in unequal portions, what it ought not to bestow, or what, if given away, should be equally the portion of all.

A government administered on such a system of policy may be called a Government of Equal Rights, but it is in its nature and essence a disguised despotism. It is the capricious dispenser of good and evil, without any restraint, except its own sovereign will. It holds in its hand the distribution of the goods of this world, and is consequently the uncontrolled master of the people.
Such was not the object of the Government of the United States, nor such the powers delegated to it by the people. The object was beyond doubt to protect the weak against the strong, by giving them an equal voice and equal rights in the state; not to make one portion stronger, the other weaker at pleasure, by crippling one or more classes of the community, or making them tributary to one alone. This is too great a power to entrust to Government. It was never given away by the people, and is not a right, but a usurpation.

Experience will show that this power has always been exercised under the influence and for the exclusive benefit of wealth. It was never wielded in behalf of the community. Whenever an exception is made to the general law of the land, founded on the principle of equal rights, it will always be found to be in favour of wealth. These immunities are never bestowed on the poor. They have no claim to a dispensation of exclusive benefits, and their only business is to "take care of the rich that the rich may take care of the poor."

Thus it will be seen that the sole reliance of the labouring classes, who constitute a vast majority of every people on the earth, is the great principle of Equal Rights; that their only safeguard against oppression is a system of legislation which leaves all to the free exercise of their talents and industry, within the limits of the GENERAL LAW, and which, on no pretence of public good, bestows on any particular class of industry, or any particular body of men, rights or privileges not equally enjoyed by the great aggregate of the body politic.

Time will remedy the departures which have already been made from this sound republican system, if the people but jealously watch and indignantly frown on any future attempts to invade their equal rights, or appropriate to the few what belongs to all alike. To quote, in conclusion, the language of the great man, with whose admirable sentiment we commenced these remarks, "it is time to pause in our career—if we cannot at once, in justice to the interests vested under improvident legislation, make our government what it ought to be, we can at least take a stand against all new grants of monopolies and exclusive privileges, and against any prostitution of our Government to the advancement of the few at the expense of the many."