Monday, October 16, 2017

Bad Stadium


My mom had knee surgery 2 weeks ago.  Even so, she did not want to miss the match up between the MN Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.  My mom and my sister have had MN season tickets for years, so they have great seats near the front at the end zone.  But there is only one handicap area near the top, and near outside doors that for some inexplicable reason were left open yesterday.  You can use the handicap seats for a game at a time for a temporary disability, so they did, not knowing what they were really like.

The MN Vikings website said that they were ADA compliant.  I wonder if any of the people who designed this stadium or supposedly ensured that it was ADA compliant had ever had to use these handicap seats.  Not only wads there no elevator, but apparently there were no working handicap doors.  At least in the Metrodome, one could use an elevator if they needed to as to avoid the long flight of stairs.  Now there is none.  I guess they figure that if you want close seats, that is the price you have to pay, to climb all those stairs.  I remember the stairs at the Metrodome.  By the time I got to the top, I was panting.  And the security kept trying to get me to move out of the way.  I just glared at them.  They could arrest me for trying to live.  I wondered about this new stadium, why there is no elevator.  Don't they have to have a freight elevator to transport thing up and down?  Herberger's even let me use their freight elevator when their elevator was down and I am afraid to use escalators.

I suppose some might complain, well, at least they have seats.  So what?  So elderly and disabled people have to accept less than what they want?  Do the powers that be figure that oh well, they already have a disability, what difference does it make if they are cold?

It's like when I was a student about 12 years ago at the U of MN.  They had handicap access doors, but they were where people were allowed to smoke.  And sometimes the elevators didn't work.  I suppose the U figured oh well, they already have a disability, so what if they also get lung cancer from second hand smoke?  Right after I finished my program there, did they finally work on those problems.  

I guess I get disgusted when the elderly and disabled are ignored.   We are in such a PC culture nowadays that every one is demanding their rights.  What about our rights?  We don't have a celebrity voice.  We are not cool, and are rather representative of something that most people don't want to think about, having to get old, or having a disability.  I don't say this for myself, as I am relatively able bodied.  But I see what is happening around me, and what is happening to my parents as they get older, and it makes me sad.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

I am 50


Tomorrow I will be 50.  It seems unreal that I have lived that long.  When I was a child, 50 seemed so old.  But now that I am almost there, it really doesn't.  I still feel like a kid sometimes, maybe because I have none of my own.  But it's good to feel young, even though my body tells me everyday that I am getting older.

Here are some things I learned in my 50 years of existence:
Life is too short to get upset about the little things.
Friendships are worth more than politics.  
Being a parent is an awesome responsibility.  One not to be taken lightly.
Marriage will not change your spouse for the better, but will double your problems.
People are not perfect, don't expect them to be.
I am not perfect, don't expect me to be.
I wouldn't be able to survive this life without Jesus in it.
Life is hard.
Everyone has problems.
True love doesn't try to change a person.
What is inside is way more important than what is on the outside.
One can always tell cosmetic surgery or toupees to try to look younger.
It's OK to play with Barbies!
Animals are lot easier to have reciprocal relationships with than people.
God is the best One to have a relationship.  I can always count on Him.
Good parents teach their children right from wrong, and set limits.  Kids need that.
Marriage is a mutual sacrifice. 
Relation is not what makes a family.  Love is.
School prepares you for nothing.  Life does.
This is the only life you have.  Don't waste it wanting something you will never get.
Stand up for yourself.  No one else will.
Don't wait for help.  Get it.
Money does not buy happiness.
Beautiful people also have problems.
All the degrees in the world will not make you smarter.
It's OK to be weird.  It's better than being boring.
Life is beautiful.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Las Vegas


When I turned on the TV at 11 as I ate my lunch, I was shocked to find out that over 50 people had died and over 500 were wounded from this heinous shooting in Las Vegas last night.  The shooter was like a sniper, shooting from a window from his hotel room, at a group of people watching a country music performer sing.  He planned it days in advance, building up his pile of weapons and ammunition as he came and went to and from the hotel.

It amazed me at how calculating and methodical this criminal was.  They still don't know the motive, only how he managed to do it.  Unless he leaves something behind on social media or a last will and testament, we may never know.

For sure people will have spiritual explanations as to why this happened.  But that doesn't satisfy me.  I know people are capable of evil choices that can be influenced by evil forces in the world.  But people are still accountable to their actions.  We still make choices and we must take responsibilities for them.  Apparently, the killer's father was a criminal and diagnosed with mental illness. Even if the shooter had a supposed mental illness, that is no excuse.  Lots of people are mentally ill.  They don't kill people.  

So as I said, there is no excuse.  Yes, there does seem to need to me more gun control, as this criminal had a long-range gun.  It seems to stop these attacks from getting worse, or from lessening the impact, we need to be proactive and reactive.  There obviously needs to be stronger security in Las Vegas in general anyways.  In any large and populated tourist area there needs to be security.  When we went to Disneyworld, our bags were always checked, we always had to check our wristbands, which had all our personal info on them, and we had to scan our finger.  I had never seen so much security in all my travels.  But that was OK with me.  I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I don't believe in full gun control, but I do think the general public does not need such powerful weapons that can kill multiple people at a time.  But of course, there are other ways to kill people, with homemade bombs, chemical attacks, even a vehicle.  9-11 was caused by planes and tons of gas.  No weapons there, yet almost 3,000 people died.  The conclusion is that people kill people. 

I'd like to say we can prevent and stop this.  We can to some extent, but then again, there is only so much a human can do.  But as a I heard on KTIS radio today, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” 

We can pray, turn to God, read His Word.  We can say something if we see something.  We can stay aware and be ready to defend the defenseless.  We must be united as Americans, and work together to stop the stem of violent attacks.  For 30 years ago as a child, these things never happened.  Now they happen far too often.  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Disneyworld





My mom and I went to Disney world last week to celebrate my impending 50th Birthday (Yikes!), and for me, a celebration of getting a "real" job!  This was my 3rd time there, my mom's 4th time, so we stuck with things we liked and new things to check out.  It was so hot and humid, I think even more so compared to when we went 31 years ago in July.  It sapped us all our strength.  All I can say is thank goodness for air conditioning!  

These pictures are from the Magic Kingdom nighttime show, where they projected scenes from Disney movies, played music from them, and coordinated the fireworks with it all.  It was amazing.  I was in awe.  As Sheldon says in "The Big Bang Theory," it was pure Disney magic.  

I am always impressed by the Disney parks as the people who work there, for the most part, are friendly and cheerful.  I don't know how they do it in the heat, humidity, screaming kids, and demanding parents.  I think I would commit hari-kari pretty quickly.  And they always do a good job.  They are always committed to safety, reminding parents non-stop about their kids.  When I saw a lost little girl, 4 Disney workers came to her aid and helped her find her family.  I saw lots of adults and children with disabilities, and I am always pleased at how well Disney treats them.  Even though I was stared at right and left all over the place, they are usually little children who don't know any better and whose parents didn't teach them any manners.

I am always impressed how Disney is innovating constantly.  They never sit on their laurels, but continuously are updating, without destroying beloved entertainments.  I still love the Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World ride, and I still love the World Showcase at Epcot.  My newer favorite is the African Safari at Animal Kingdom.  It's like watching National Geographic Wild in real life!

Disney started these parks years ago, when parks were just for kids.  He wanted to create a park that the whole family could enjoy together.  And now look at it, parks all over the world.  

I know some people don't like Disney.  Like Ford, Morgan, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, and other American titans of economy, life as we know it would be drastically different.  They were successful because they knew what people wanted, and they met that need.  This is part of what makes America great, that anyone with a dream, the will, and the ability, can make their dreams come true.  Like my parents, who weren't able to go to college, who started out with no home to call their own, worked hard all their life, made sacrifices, and ensured the safety and welfare of their children.  I can't thank my parents enough for teaching me the values that I hold dear.  I will forever be in their debt.  I love you mom and dad!



Monday, September 18, 2017

It's Official, I'm a Teacher!


After 2 years of college classes, and 1 year of substitute teaching, I am finally and officially a teacher!  I got a very part-time job as an adult ESL teacher, for 9.5 hours a week.  I would have preferred the 19 hours a week position, but the boss wanted to split the position between 2 people.  A part of me feels like, the other teacher is married and has children, this is all I have!  But another part reminds me that I am thankful to have a job teaching the same students I have been volunteering with for the last 8 years.  

I don't know if it has sunk in yet.  Maybe it will if I get more hours.  But whenever I am planning lessons or correcting homework, then I feel official.  I feel pretty important.  I feel pretty good, considering I wasn't sure if I ever would be able to work again someday.  I had tried and failed so much that I was weary of ever trying again.

But I thank God for this opportunity, I would not be here without Him.  And I am thankful for my parents who have provided for me so I can go back to school without debt hanging over my head.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

9-11


It will be the 16th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 5 days.  I hope we never forget this day, where nearly 3,000 innocent people died, thousands more injured, and more dying now due to the after affects of the attacks.  I have read so many books where 9-11 affected the writer, and have seen many documentaries about 9-11.  It has permeated our culture in almost every way.  Yet, we still are fighting this war on terror.  I wonder if we will ever win?  I hate to say it, but I doubt it.

If history is our guide, we have seen Islamic terrorist organizations come and go, and come back again.  Al Queda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIS, the list goes on, depending on time and place.  But their goal is the same, to kill all infidels, and to destroy our world.  That is the gist of it.  

And there is no excuse for it.  Some people blame economy, poverty, lack of education, etc.  But we have seen lone wolf attacks by people who lived here, in America, who had an education.  So that can't be it.  And millions of people around the world live in poverty and have lack of resources, and they don't act out in violence.  So that isn't it.

These groups are just bullies, gangs of thugs that are bent on destruction.  I wonder if they really believe in the fundamentalist Islamic rhetoric, or they are just using it as an excuse.  A convenient way to justify their heinous actions.  They act like a cult, if you don't agree with them, then you are destroyed.  

And it seems to never end.  We chased Al Queda out of Afghanistan, but they just went into Pakistan.  We supposedly chased out the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But once our troops left, the terrorists were back.  Not a surprise.  Now what do we do?  The same thing?  We know from history that half-assed attempts will never work.  So either we go in full force or leave them to their own devices.  Unfortunately, we have left them, and now look what has happened, they are back, and the people, the regular folks just trying to survive, are paying the price for our negligence.  

One could look at this as humans being humans, there will always be terrorists, etc.  But I feel for the thousands, if not millions, of people around the world being killed or chased out of their communities, abused and neglected, and living in fear.  They did not choose to be born where they are.  They want to live in a land that is dying.  

It makes me appreciate my little life, such as it is.  I live in the greatest country on God's green earth.  I have freedom of religion and speech.  I have an education.  I have a job.  I have my family.  I have a home.  What more do I need?  


Monday, August 28, 2017

Founding Fathers


Lately there have been calls to rid America of confederate symbols and monuments, including statues of the Confederacy.  I have lived in the North all my life.  These symbols have no effect on me.  I am not an African-American, I did not live in the South.  So I don't believe I have any say in what happens to these symbols.  The ones to make that decision are the ones most affected by them.  

But I have heard calls of destroying the symbols of our Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  This I wholeheartedly disagree with.  

Growing up, I had no idea that Washington or Jefferson had slaves.  Honestly, I didn't really care about these long ago presidents.  I called them dead white men, and was tired of hearing about only them in my history classes.  I wanted to learn about world history, what life was like around the world for all people groups.  

About 10 years ago my mom and I went on a tour of historic sites on the East Coast, including Washington, D.C., and Virginia.  We visited Mount Vernon, Washington's home, and Monticello, Jefferson's home.  I knew by then that Jefferson had slaves and had a relationship with a slave.  But I don't think I knew about Washington.  

This was a struggle for me, as by seeing these sites, seeing the battle grounds of Valley Forge, and learning more about the Revolutionary War, I had come to admire these two men.  I couldn't fathom why they were slave owners, I thought they were better than that.  

I don't honestly know what they were like as slave owners.  All I know is that Washington was the general who won the Revolutionary War, and Jefferson was the one who penned the Declaration of Independence.  

This affirms to me, yet again, that most people have good and bad in them.  Washington and Jefferson were good presidents, just had bad thinking when it came to slavery.  Like most other famous people, we cannot simply discard someone because they happen to do something or think something that we don't like.  This doesn't take away the good things they dd.  It's like that saying, "you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater."  

It is so easy nowadays to quickly judge someone, anyone, based on one thing.  But what we don't realize is that people's actions and ideas don't come out of thin air.  They come through experiences, thoughts, emotions, and relationships.  It is too easy to judge someone without thinking what it's like for them.  History has evolved over time, so what we thought was OK back then we know now to be wrong.  

Let us not forget the great accomplishments of our Founding Fathers.  They chose to risk their lives to fight the tyranny of the British government.  They could have taken it easy, and profited from trade with the British.  But they chose to mark their own trail, to beat their own drum.  They chose to take a chance on the impossible, and somehow made it possible.  For that, their monuments should be a testament for all time.