On Retrospect: The People

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“The majority of people in the world are good.”

I’ve written those words many times here. I not only believed that statement, blogging cemented that belief into my personal ideology. It’s a personal mantra that I use in conversations and posts. Some just stare at me, but most concur.

People from Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Greece, India, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Whales, and more became important parts on my little corner of the world. Regardless of politics, religions, cultures, statements by world leaders, and more – YES – the majority of people in the world are good!

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me
(“We Are The World”, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie)

I also believe the most important decision a person makes in life is their choice of people to be in their personal orbit. No matter if friends, neighbors, work colleagues, fellow parishioners, hobbists, or wherever – others can build you up while others tear you down. Some will support you in your time of need while others abandon you in a blink of the eye. Some are positive and encouraging, but others are negative influences in a variety of ways.

Bottom line is simple: In life, each of us decide who will be around us – and blogging is no different! However, this involves luck because in cyberworld, we don’t know who is behind the words we read. On the plus side, gaining personal relationships has been the biggest and most rewarding surprise for me. No wonder this post is longer than the others in this series.

Names stick with me – so I wonder whatever happened to some bloggers. They suddenly stop – vanishing into the cyber-abyss – which is one of the reasons I’m doing this series. I don’t want others to wonder. After all, my readers respect me and I respect them. Besides, I’ve been here so long!

As with any type of social media, blogging is about making connections. For instance, I know El Guapo served as my connection point to Raye and Marc (who was Cayman then). I discovered John through Marc while Dale found me through Raye. Monika found me through Marc, plus Dale found Marc (and others) through me – and so on. I also connect with Susannah through Marc, but not through his alter ego Cayman. Goodness has a way of finding goodness!

At the risk of forgetting someone, I want to mention many fellow bloggers (sometimes in alphabetical order). Some I’ve encountered for many years, others less than a year. Some bloggers have faded away, others have cut back, and some are still going strong.  I originally wanted to say something about each of them, but I’ll group them instead. Plus I want to keep it short, otherwise this post would be a book.

Carrie, Elyse, Guapo, and Virginia no longer blog. I miss them. They were regulars and I loved the way the handled themselves and treated me – plus they excelled at their end in their own style. Although chances are slim, I hope they see this and stop by.

Nia, Robin, and Debra are my longest-running visitors – and they still visit, comment, and shine at their end. Debra and I laugh about how much we seem to have in common. I collaborated with Robin 5 times, and Nia is genuinely nice.

A special salute to two Canadians. Resa is not only a treat and frequent visitor, she got me interested in murals. Her tribute post to me will live with me forever. Dale – well – She’s one of the best interactive people I’ve encountered. She’s genuine and a hoot – and what a fabulous maitre’d she’s been at my musical events. After me, she must be the one making the most comments here. 🙂 I can’t thank her enough! After all, we are a great team.

Although relatively new here, cheers to Monika for her sense of humor and her volunteering effort with her comfort dogs collectively known as The Knuckleheads.

Marina, we go back a long time. The more we interacted, the more our bond grew. I am eternally grateful for you being you to me. Yamas!

Raye, I love your wit. John, you are a writing machine. Marc, you may be the best writer I’ve encountered. Merril, you are kind, smart, insightful, and consistent.

Archon, Betsy, Bumba Steve, CAL/Mudge, Catherine, Charlie (SoCal), Cindy, Drew, E R, Eleanor, Holly, Jo (Texas), Jo (England), Karen (Mouse), Kerry, Mary, Melanie, Mobius, Otto, Padre Steve, Pamela, Patti, Phillip, Ray, Sue, Theodora, and Yahooey like to keep me on my toes by keeping an irregular schedule for posting and/or visiting … and that’s OK.

Special shout-out to Aussie Debra who posts about her time in Italy. Her tie to my family’s region always causes me to smile, plus she knows how much I love Bagni di Lucca and that valley.

AmyRose, Eilene, Rachel, Tara, Trent, and Wendy are relative newbies, so thanks for joining us when you can and for what you do at your end – yet our time together has been too short. Fiery and Nina were also new, but gone with a flash as neither is blogging now – one announced and the other vanishing into thin air. Susannah is also relatively new, but she has a great heart and wit; plus (I think) we click.

John Erickson, wherever you are – thank you for bringing your wit and energy to my little corner of the world. I’ve missed your presence.

Lynn doesn’t post or visit as much as she once did, but our time linked together has been long.

I salute Al, Alex, Alisha, Amanda, Amy, Angela, Audra, Bulldog, Calvin, Cathy, Charlie (Aussie), Claudine, Dave (Fasab), George, Ginger, Hansi, Jackie, Jeff, Jim (Iowa), Joanne, John (Canada), John (Seattle), Kathy, Kayjai, Kellie, Kelly, Lenora, Leo, Les, Lizzie, Lorna, Mags, Maria (Aquileana), Mary, Meesh, Melissa, Moe, Mollie, Noeleen, Nonnie, Renee, Rich, Rosie, Rosy, Roxie, Sarah, Sekan, Shimon, Starla, Spinny, Suzanne, Tim V, TMB, Val, Viveka, Vanessa, Weebs (Madam Weebles), and White Lady in the Hood who were prominent here at one time. Many stopped blogging,  others still blog but have moved on, and a some occasionally stop by. I have to mention Cynthia, Larry, and Third Stone who died along the way.

Bloggers come and go – Isadora, Jim W, Pauline, and Sylvia may not be 100% regulars, but they visit and comment when they can and have done so for many years. Others like Barbara, Steffy, and Yvette I don’t know where to include, but I want to mention.

Although I previously mentioned (in the first post) those that I consider as “Pioneers”, they helped get me started. I always smile when one of them unexpectedly pops in here. Cheers to Cheers to Tim (Beeze), Mo, Chris, Ryan, and Dave from my days at The Sporting News. A tip of the cap to Joe as he was one of my early frequent visitors and commenters.

I want to mention a few readers who actually know me. Tim has probably read a very high percentage of the posts – and eventually became an active participant. Gary also reads and occasionally tosses in his two cents – and he loves the musicals. Jim is a gentle, good person that was my work colleague for many years. He has read a lot here, but sparingly comments. Thanks gentlemen.

To the one known here as The Right Angle. I don’t think she ever understood this place or the attachments that develop with others – but she tolerated it and let me do my thing. After all, she’s the one who observed my many hours with my laptop as she watched television.

No matter the-when over the past 11+ years, everyone listed here and all the unnamed have been a joy and an honor to know. You have been good to me here, and welcoming at your end. You have played a big role in learning that blogging is about you (the readers), but not about me (the writer). You are good people.

Countless others have visited and commented here. They too have kept me motivated. I say with confidence that I wouldn’t have lasted 11+ years if not for all of you!

Everyone has a selfish side – after all, we are human. In real life, I don’t consider myself as selfish. I recall a discussion at work with a young colleague as we were discussing potential curriculum changes. I knew she understood when she said, “I get it. You are more concerned about how the changes impact the department and what students get instead of your course.” A ballroom friend told me that they’ve never noticed me bringing attention to myself while dancing.  So yes, to me, this blog has been more about you than me – hence the personal salute to many.

Preparing this 5-part retrospective closing has been easier than I anticipated. Well, until now because thinking about all the positive relationships built in my little corner of the world chokes me up. Yes, tears rolled down my face several times. To me, I have learned that blogging is more about the people than the posts – but the posts have been the vehicle for making the connections with people.

Cheers to the majority of people in the world who are good.

Next Post: The Finale (To be published Tuesday 4 Feb @ 9:00 PM Eastern US)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 379

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Pronouns: The Musical is continues this weekend with the final act featuring songs with It in the title. Caution: It and It’s are acceptable, but not Its. Don’t rely on YouTube getting it right! Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

I may have one or two important announcement by Tuesday. If so, there would be one or two new pages/tabs. So be watching for the Special page/tab and the Challenge page/tab.

This week marked the renewal of a Halloween tradition in our condo neighborhood. The adults get together for an outdoor social so the candy seekers can have a one-stop feast.

A new episode of Rick Steves’ Europe examines cruising. Being that we enjoy cruising, we felt that his assessment of cruising was very fair.

Amazing how each of us have encounters that hit us in different ways. I want to share four of mine from last week

My wife recently had a toe surgery involving a cartilage implant. November will be a slow month here, so my dancing is on hold – well, unless she either goes along to watch and socialize or she wants me away for a few hours. Meanwhile, I’ve come a butler.

Stephen Colbert make me laugh. This 2+ minute clip is very good spoof on commentator Lou Dobbs.

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I can honestly say President Trump will not impact any of my votes on Election Day. For the record, my ballot has races for Governor, other state offices, Senator, Representative, the state legislature, and local races.

Given next week’s midterm elections, I’m raising the odds of the Democrats gaining control of the House to 90%, but retain the 10% odds of the Republicans losing control of the Senate.

From my perspective, there is no difference between the Democratic party attacks on the Koch Brothers and Republican party attacks on George Soros. Of course, during an election, neither party is willing to look within themselves.

Last week was difficult: mailing of bombs to prominent people – a shooting at a grocery store in Kentucky – a mass shooting at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh – all three incident by loners with unhinged, deranged minds. Unfortunately, predictable statements about gun control and the Second Amendment again come forth. Whereas the focus continues to be the last 14 words of the Second Amendment, I continue to say the key to the debate is the first 13 words. After all, those are the words not on the lobby wall at NRA headquarters.

To understand the problems in today’s America, find a copy of the Roundtable discussion on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (28 October 2018).

Being that we are living in a time of a self-centered, bloviating, obnoxious, dishonest jackass holding the office of the leader of the free world, I hope you visited at least one of the four links listed in the previous section. Cheers to Master Yoda’s comment that is very applicable today.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion reports the latest on the Trump boys. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man exhausted having to explain Halloween costume for the umteenth time
Area man always carb-loading just in case
Polite high school football team runs around banner that took hours to make
Study finds placing one foot forward, then the other, remains best method of walking
Parents honor beloved dead grandmother by naming baby ‘GamGam’
Rash not going away on its own

Interesting Reads

100 years after the Armistice
10 countries gone after the Cold War
A Jew’s life between the wars
The complexity of 10 simple things
Building a Moon base: a how to
(Graphic) Growth, GDP, countries, over time
(Pictures) High water in Venice (and to think I was there 21 days before these pictures)
(Pictures) Mexico City’s Day of the Dead parade

To send you into the weekend and into the midterm elections, here’s that is applicable for me and a few of the readers here. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Flashbacks: On Good Stories, Good People

All of us recognize that news is full of bad news. However, many good stories and good people exist. Enjoy, visit as many as you want, and I hope you comment on the post you visited.

On an Angel’s Wings

Do you remember Clarence Odbody? I imagine the last name may throw you off, but he was an Angel Second Class who hadn’t yet earned his wings, thus assigned as the guardian angel to George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life.

I like good stories about good people doing good things for others – and I know that it’s been too long since I’ve featured a post simply about a good deed. After all, are some of the great words about being human include kindness, courage, love, sharing, generosity, humility, and respect?

Here’s a story about Woody Davis, seemingly a regular person who believes in a life of helping others – and one who says he feels blessed to be dying slowly. Oh no, it’s not a tearful story, but a joyous one of an ordinary person who has lived a life of giving – and worth your 3 minutes to see.

Note: After clicking the video, click again to watch on YouTube in a new window, and then I hope you return to comment. If you have a problem below, click here to watch on YouTube.