Archive for the ‘Life in General’ Category

Celebrating My Heritage

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

I bought a Polish Flag on eBay the other day. I plan on displaying it proudly on selected holidays. I think the first will be Brother Martin day. I have no problem with ethnic groups celebrating their heritage, but it seems to me that if we institutionalize some one heritage, then we are playing favorites. Where’s the federal holiday for Pulaski Day? Huh? Where?

Latinos are welcome to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, but it does not need to be a federal holiday. Blacks are welcome to celebrate the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr., but it does not need to be a federal holiday. If it weren’t for the contributions of Pulaski and Kosciuszko, perhaps the revolutionary war would have failed. But we don’t celebrate them with a federal holiday. Why?

So, I will proudly fly my Polish Flag on holidays or any other day I see fit, to celebrate my heritage. And I will still fly the American Flag on federal holidays such as Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, and the like. I hope you celebrate your heritage, too, but also celebrate with me our common heritage.

Bad things happening to good people

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Let’s face it. It’s a bit of a commentary on the “god” that I was taught when I was in Catholic grade school. Bad things happen to good people. And, good things happen to bad people.

Had bad news in the family today. For one of my “in laws,” their sister’s husband, a young guy in his 40s, died suddenly of a heart attack today. His wife is currently battling cancer, too. They have a high school senior daughter.  Bad things happening, and these are, belive me, good people!

I can’t explain it. It breaks my heart to see such things happening to great people. It’s not “god’s fault,” by any means. Is just happens. “Shit happens,” as they say. This does not make it any easier to accept. But, it’s an opportunity for the rest of us in the world.

Another person I know related a story today of a time many, many years ago, when she had 7 (yes, seven!) small kids at home and her husband had surgery for a brain tumor. They lived in a small town. To this day, she has no idea who  paid their electic bill for a number of months. She received $20s and even $50s in the mail, anonymously. People paid other bills without saying who they were. This is what “community” is all about.

Bad things happen to good people. But this is “our” chance. It’s a time for the rest of us to step up to the plate and help out. We can’t change the bad things that happen. But we can show love, compassion, and humanity and do what we can do.

Not only CAN we show love, compassion and humanity, we MUST. If we don’t, we’re really sunk as human beings.
Yes, bad things happen to good people. And other good people step forward, showing and proving their goodness. We have to,  to be good….

Sad times

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

No, I’m not talking about war or politics or even the state of the Democratic party. I’m talking about the recent violence at some schools. A man with a grudge, yesterday, went into an Amish school in Pennsylvania and executed several young girls, before doing us all a favor and blowing his head off. He just had the order of things wrong. What could cause a person to do such a thing? Or, last week in Colorado (I think), another man went into a school, took some girls hostage, molested a few, and killed one or two before killiing himslef.

What has gotten into some people? I imagine we’ll eventually read about some “traumatic” childhood, or “deep seated” resentments or “unresolved rage” or other psycho-babble. The bottom line is, each of these people had some sort of problem and society–we–did nothing about it. Maybe we ignored the warning signs. Maybe we didn’t listen to them. Maybe we didn’t take them seriously. But I think, to some extent, that society shoulders some responsibility for not “heading them off,” though certainly not the blame for their actions.

It’s scary. To think that the guy next to you could suddenly come unglued some day, and come to work or school or the store you’re in or the place you’re visiting–to come in with a gun and just start blasting away. How can you prepare for that? You cannot. You can just live your life the best you can, each and every moment, and be thankful for what you have and what you can accomplish today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. You must take care of yourself today.


Thursday, September 14th, 2006

For some reason, I thought about faithfulness today. What it means to be faithful fo someone. Or, I suppose, to something. It means to stand by it or them. To have hope and trust in it or them.

Recently, I was sitting outside at work. The building has a lot of glass that reflects the trees very well. I heard a thud. I saw a bird land on the concrete. It had flown into the glass, probably confused, thinking it was heading for a tree that was in reality only a reflection. It was a sad moment. But the next moment was even more sad.

Another bird came and stopped by the bird lying on the pavement. The other bird kinda pecked at it a bit, nudged it, tried to get it to move. Unfortunately, I think the first bird was dead. And I think the second bird was it’s mate. It was a sad moment. The second bird came back a few times, trying to say “wake up” to the first bird. It was not to be. It was a very sad moment.

I think that second bird exhibited faithfulness. It did not give up. It stayed nearby. I watched this scene for maybe 15 minutes, and the second bird never, ever gave up hope. It kept coming back. It kept trying to wake its mate.

It was sad that the first bird died, and the second was left to mourn in some way. But it also showed what faithfulness is, at least to me.

Vote, Dammit!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

Today is election day here in Florida. For a number of races, it’s the primary election, and the final decisions will be made in November. For a number of local races, it’s decision day, today. No matter what, everyone should get out and vote today.

I am amazed at the apathy of people who think that they cannot make a difference. All it takes is one vote, and your vote could be that one. When people don’t vote, it’s true that it makes my vote even more important. But I’d rather see 100% voter participation in the democratic process….it’s part of the reason my ancestors came to this country–to be free. So, get out today and vote. If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain, pure and simple.


Food of the gods

Friday, September 1st, 2006

I do a lot or cook book and recipe reading. I watch Food Network on TV incessantly. My friends tell me I’m obsessed with food and cooking. But when I cook something for them, I never hear a complaint, only compliments. (I wonder why!!?!).  Yes, I guess that food and cooking has become a passion of mine. (Note: I did not say “obsession,” only “passion.”) I love to cook (and, lo and behold, I love to eat), and I love to learn about food and cooking.

I think I’ve stumbled upon a “food of the gods.” A food that is nearly perfect in every way. Versatile. Can be held in the hand. Can be eaten in one bite. Freezes well. Goes with almost anything. Actually, goes with anything, depending on the variety. Is nutritious. Is plain ole “good eats.”

What is it?  Pierogi. Yes, pierogi! I think pierogi is the perfect food. Like a little pocket pie, you can fill it with nearly anything, and it’ll taste good. You’re only limited to the fillings you can imagine. Perhaps I’m just hungry at the moment, but I’ll take a good pierogi over any other food item. Yumm!

Food of the gods, for sure!

I was prepared

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Yes, I was prepared for Ernesto, the tropical storm that hit Florida yesterday and the day before. Oh, Ernesto is again a tropical storm, and still influencing our weather. It came right over Florida, entering around the everglades and exiting around Cape Canaveral. But it did not have the predicted punch. Predictions for my area of 4-6 inches of rain with spots of up to 10″ gave way to 3-5 inches, then 2-4, etc. I got about 3/4 of an inch. Predictions of tropical force winds ended up with 8-10 mph steady winds. I think I had one gust here of near 20. Woo-Hoo.

So, I have to admit, Ernesto turned into a “non-event.” I know one friend of mine who will be exceedingly glad for this. And I am too. Well, I wanted the rain, but not any damage. Instead, though we had no damage, we had nearly no rain, too.

So now I will spend a few moments putting patio furniture back on the porch, and undoing a few other preparations I’d made. But, next time a storm threatens, I’d do the same things. It’s always best to be prepared, and I will be, every time!

Now, I must admit, I’m a bit obsessed by the weather. I have my own weather station. You can find my weather station on the web here. Additionally, my weather data is published on And I follow all sorts of weather sites, keeping an eye on the weather. Yes, I love weather, and love following it, knowing what it’s doing, what’s going on. And I have an amazing awe for the weather, as it is so hard to predict, and impossible to control. Ernesto was a nice shot to my obsession. I got to watch it grow, develop, change, and ultimately do what it wants. Kind of like life, in a way. You just can’t control some things. Thanks, Ernesto! And bye!

What the Boy Scouts teach

Monday, August 28th, 2006

There are some lessons in life that should be learned early on, so you you don’t have to learn the hard way when you’re older. One of these is taught by the Boy Scouts: “Be Prepared!” Two years ago when the first of three major hurricanes crossed central Florida, not many people were ready. As a result, before hurricane Charlie, the first one, gas was plentiful and lines were non-existent. People were not preparing. After Charlie passed through, there was no gas to be found. Those stations with gas had no power, and those stations with power ran out of gas lickety split. Same thing with bottled water, propane, generators, tarps, and the like. When the next hurricanes came through that year, we were more prepared.

Now, I must say that I was somewhat prepared for Charlie. I had plenty of water and ice, a full tank of gas, and food aplenty. Still, I have learned and am even more prepared today. I filled up my gas cans over the past month, bought a generator this spring, and generally am ready for the next hurricane, which could be any day now.

I noticed lines for gas yesterday–and that’s a good thing. People are preparing in advance, remembering what happened two years ago. The stores had water, propane, and the like out, all ready for purchase. I think we in central Florida are more ready than ever. And that’s a good thing. Keep that Boy Scout motto in mind: “be prepared!” Then act accordingly.

I am angry!

Friday, August 25th, 2006

It’s true. I am angry….  I’m mad as hell…. It has to be so, because I read it. It seems that Men’s Health magazine used a bunch of statistics from the CDC, the FBI, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to come up with an “angry” rating for the largest cities in the USA, and Orlando ranked #1 as the angriest city in the county. And, to top it off, all five of the Florida cities that were rated were in the top 12, making Florida the angriest state, too. Wow, at least we have a claim to something besides Mickey Mouse!

Why are we so angry? Hell if I know. But I sure see the evidence of it, and that alone makes me angry. A few days ago, two elderly women were taking an early morning walk in their gated community. A hit-and-run driver hit both of them killing one and seriously injuring the other. And left the scene, left them to die. And one of them did. Fortunately the cops caught the bastard. I can only hope he resisted a bit, and that he gets a cellmate that will call him “honey-child.” And then this morning, a bicylist was hit and killed, a young lady out for an early morning ride, and the driver took off, leaving her to die. That makes me mad as hell. I hope they find the bastard and beat the living crap out of him/her. See, I’m angry!  No wonder Orlando wins the contest!

I guess being angry, and living in an angry city, isn’t always a bad thing. But still, there is too much anger all around me. I see it on the roads, every day. I hear it in conversations at work, all the time.  Frustration turns to anger. Why are we so frustrated? I think no one is listening. No one listens to our frustration. Our frustration builds. It turns into anger. Boy, I sure hope someone is listening to me here in my blog, so my frustration does not turn into anger. Maybe it’s too late, the Men’s Health article already has me angry!

Making Lemonade

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

I like lemondade. But I don’t make it often. Or at least I should say, I don’t make it often enough!  No, I’m not talking literally about the drink, I’m talking about making the best of situations in life. As in the adage “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

I think news media has a lot to do with the lack of lemonade in our lives. You read daily about people who have a bad situation, and do not make the best of it. Most often, they just sue someone, or complain, or protest. Take that nut-case, what’s-her-name, the crazy lady who lost a son in Iraq. Rather than work for good, she protests, draws attention to herself, criticizes, but has nothing contructive to say. There’s an article in the local paper today. Basically a tragic situation where a security guard shot and killed an innocent kid. Is the mother making lemonade–the best of–the situation? No, she’s suing the apartment complex. That will go a far way in bringing her son back, won’t it??

Where do we get this idea that money is the cure for everything? It is not! The best things in life may not be free, but they don’t have to cost money. They may, however, cost blood, sweat, and tears. Take the case of John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted” fame. His son was tragically murdered. Did Walsh sit back and cry? Did he protest at city hall for not having enough police? Did he sue someone, anyone? No! He took the lemons life gave him and he made lemonade! He made a difference. He wanted to make sure others did not have to go through what he did, and he has accomplished that, many, many times over. And he did this without once suing, or protesting, or marching about it. He took action, positive action. Yes, I suppose he has attained some fame and fortune because of this, but that’s not what he set out to seek. He set out to make a difference, and he did–and life has rewarded him greatly for this.
So, I must say that I have to agree with the old adage, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  If you don’t, you’ll just become an old sourpuss like that lady, the nut case, what’s-her-name. If you do make lemonade, you can change the world, or at least a little part of it, and change it for the better. We need more people focusing on changing the world, and less people focused on self-importance.

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!