Here’s the thing… I get a lot of emails. 40, 50, 60 a day, I don't know. Some are advertisements I didn’t ask for, yet I can’t figure out how to stop them. The Charlotte Observer is one that comes to mind. But others... like the ones to buy glasses cheap... where did these things come from. And those offering coupons.
Serious stuff like… regular dumps from ol’ friends… I read… every one. Probably there are a dozen or more who send me material they think I’d be interested in, and like I said, maybe I just don’t have a life anymore, but I read them all. And I want to thank those people for including me on their mailing distributions. I'm thinking Alan Silverman here for one. And Pat Law. Ted Carroll. Brad. 'RedCoat.
Others send cartoons, humor, critical reviews, opinions, newspaper articles, bloopers. Joe Lambert being one of the best here. I'm always wondering, where the hell does he get all his stuff
[This was first posted in the summer of 2016]
Then there are announcements, newsletters, bulletin board items. Among the best I get is The List, published daily by a former Navy officer in San Diego on a whole host of Duty, Honor, Country themes… plus brain teasers and puzzles and jokes and retiree news of our sick and lame. And of course there is the new word a day thing, and daily installments of Trivia questions (I’m batting 54 % for the month).
And of course Gene Rossel will be there with my daily fix on all things that fly and pilots who fly them.
For me, retired from the CIA, and I get the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) weekly newsletter which I recommend to anyone with an interest in US and international intelligence.
And then there are local interest emails like, “Parker, if your dogs get out in the Flamingo Heights subdivision again and shit on the grass, again, you are goin’ jail.”
I have a facebook acc't but I don't know how to facebook, so there is usually a few emails daily of a chatty personal nature that's my substitution for facebook, and the like.
And then there are emails that have to do with book research… I’m working with a group worthies to gather background material on several subjects… heading more or less towards specific objectives, but getting diverted often all breathless on this or that side story.
For example a search on what happened to our military ’45 to ’75 got us up to our ears in MacArthur’s Inchon invasion and his subsequent move into northern Korea in November 1950 towards the Yalu… where his forces got ambushed by 300,000 Red Chinese… the biggest ambush in the history of our country's military.
Then there’s the project to finish the story of the battle for Skyline in NE Laos… now all entwined with research on the very successful Thai 333 program and how it got started…
And getting at who was the real Shakespeare or as appears to me now, who were the real Shakespeares, and who was the master editor…. I'm thinking the Statford upon the Avon man didn't play much a part.... but all this discussion has recently bled over to the connection between those working Elizabethan plays and sonnets to those working the King James version of the bible….
And there’re always things about these Rants and Yarns that’s fodder for emails and research.
However I’m writing this now on the growing number of emails I get that argue our world’s going to hell. Stinking US politicians, terrorist, spurious values of today’s youngsters, ObamaCare, Ferguson, Baltimore, mass migrations in the middle east, welfare abuse, women in the military, the Zika virus, war, poverty, PETA outrage, police brutality, the nonsensical press, China bursting at the seams fueling the world population explosion, Clinton, Trump, the Federal debt… I mean it almost doesn’t end, these things people criticize.
Like they're important to our lives, when in fact they aren't.
So listen, I go back to a point I’ve made before on these pages, that we’re victims of the information age, that tends to focus on vileness and disorder in our world.
It is easy, as victims, to get caught up in all that and trouble deaf heaven – and me – with focus on the half empty glass. Or the glass that’s emptying. Though someone recently told me if the cup is half empty, the lady needs a smaller bra.
It’s popular to say, good news doesn’t sell.
Conflict. Now you got something. Change. Waste. Suffering. Things that go bump in the night. Death’s approach. But especial Change.
It takes no effort to find things to complain or worry about. It take more effort to take the road less traveled… of giving a full life nowaday it’s honest due.
Yea there’s crap, but there’s more happiness and joy and singing and laughter and birds in flight and kids at Disneyland and taking the dogs to the park and local high school sports and holidays and travel and the Grand Canyon and wheat fields in Nebraska and ol’ soldiers at reunions and the smell of a pie baking in the oven and the feel of grass on your bare feet and the silent sound of a deep forest and music and good books and family and church.
Yet, despite all this wonderment, it’s easy to mostly complain about life its ownself because access to the information highway is in everyone’s gadget… where, like we said, the preponderance of things is bitchy modern-age crap…
Hell… complaining is cheap thinking. It’s the low hanging fruit of the information age.
And consider this fact of life, to get the most out of life, stay away from negative people… associate with those who enjoy themselves… and their surroundings.
We are Americans for God’s sake and we are guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
You wanta bitch? Go to Russia or North Korea or Liberia or Brazil or Syria. Now there you got something to bitch about.
This is America, pursue happiness.
And quit sending me bitchy emails about Trump’s hair and Islamic intolerance. Send me a selfie of you up off your ass talking with a teenager or smelling the roses. Or tell me about the last good book you read, or the last good show you saw. Or something your spouse did that made you smile. Something out in life’s wilderness, away from the highway’s noises and the warm familiar comforts of home.
There, I got that off my chest. I feel better.
Give the upside to life a chance. It’s a better place to keep your focus.
Get after life. The sights and sounds and smells and happiness and hope and laughter and beauty. There is so much of it. Time is so precious. Don't waste it on petty, negative, crappy nonsense. There is not one shred of evidence that we should take life seriously or worry about the National debt. Young, old, doesn't matter.
Go get after happiness, and if you knock over a few obstacles along the way, well they maybe shouldn't be in your lane... Run hard there in the # 2 lane, I'm on your side.