Saturday, March 11, 2017

Middle Age Changes

Everyone goes through this and I truly believe women are better equipped to handle this. I will be 46 soon and over the past year or do, there have been changes going on that for the most part are tolerable but sometimes can be embarrassing. Maybe embarrassing is not the right word; uncomfortable, different, unexpected. As I have aged, I don't see myself getting older. I still work out regularly, for the most part and I still like to get out there and have a good time. Yes, my hair is gone, my eyesight is slightly worse, and I don't recover as quickly as I did when I was younger from certain activities like drinking or hard workouts. In fact, if I suffer a minor injury, it takes twice as long now to recover than just five years ago. To me, this is expected and I can tolerate it. However, there is one thing happening that I knew would happen but is still hard to accept. That is the flooding of emotions that have entered my system. I know why this is happening physically, but dealing with it mentally and, well, emotionally, is sometimes hard. There will be times when I am watching a sitcom or movie comedy but during an emotional scene, my eyes will well up with tears. It won't happen for a week or two and then, BAM, here they come. Forget about dramas or emotional shows, like This is Us, or Silver Linings Playbook....I may end up being a wreck at the end. What is pretty cool is that Diane and the girls don;t clown me about it. I sometimes talk about this and they are OK with dad tearing up. Maybe that's the best thing I can do as a dad is let them know, it's OK to get emotional once in a while and not be afraid to be emotional. I want them to know it's OK to have feelings and express them as well. Of course, sometimes, you have to keep them in check depending on the situation.
So, I am dealing with this by sharing my experiences. I may write about it more or whatever comes to my mind. It's been too long and writing helps me. This will sound cliche, but it gives me some balance and that's one thing we all strive to have. I mean, I don't want to be that cantankerous old man neighbor in his boxers, robe and slippers yelling at them got-dam kids making all that got-damn noise. Instead, I'll just go watch a M*A*S*H episode and tear up when a serious issue comes up. It will make me feel better afterward.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th and childhood memories

My first memory of celebrating our Nation's birthday was in 1976. It was, of course, our bicentennial and I fondly remember going to Wolf Rd (a major thoroughfare in Colonie, NY) and watching this huge parade. Other memories come to mind like going up to Berne, NY to My Aunt Pat's house and watching the small town parade go down the street. Or buying "black market" fireworks from the one house in our area that seemed to always have an abundance of firecrackers (25 cents a pack), bottle rockets or roman candles. I don't remember who sold them but I do remember it was near Pommel road. I still love the smell of the fumes after you light fireworks. One summer, I went to Cleveland to see my grandfather. I was about 10 and we were there for the holiday. When I was older, once or twice I went to the Albany Capital Plaza to catch the night time fireworks. Fond memories indeed. Now, there is one specific memory, that I will never forget and is only somewhat tied into our Nation's birthday. It occurred when I was in 4th grade at Saddlewood School. In fourth grade, there were two teachers, Mr. Jabstrebski (Mr. J) and Mr. Robinson. I had Mr. J but took some classes with Mr. Robinson. He had a unique way to take care of some students who disrupted class. For example, he had a fifty word sentence that I was all to familiar with in writing numerous times. For major disruptions, he had students write the Declaration of Independence. To those who had to write it, it was probably torture. Think about it...1980 and all you had was a pencil and paper. Now get to writing! Anyway, I think a lot about my childhood and how good I had it. I hope my own kids can look back when they are older and say the same thing. For now, I will continue to enjoy today with grilled burgers, dogs, cold drinks, a small parade and just plain old summer fun. Oh and for Mr. Robinson, I post the following (NO I did not type it; we're in the 21st Century! Cut and Paste!)

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
- He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
- He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
- He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
- He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
- He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
- He has refused for a long time, after such dis solutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
- He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
- He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
- He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
- He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
- He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
- He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
- He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
- For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
- For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
- For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
- For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
- For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
- For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses
- For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
- For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
- For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
- He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
- He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
- He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
- He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
- He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor