Wednesday, May 25, 2016

We Hope You Have a Miserable Flight With Us Today

As I have mentioned before, I work for one of the major airlines here in Miami. The good news is I get to fly for free,(provided there is an unused seat available) the bad news is I get treated just like everybody else (crappy).


It seems that the airlines today are trying to get us to forget that you have to pay for checked baggage, overkill security, no snacks, etc. by treating us all like seven year old children. Flight attendant training now resembles nazi nun training as evidenced by the way these people patrol the aisles, looking for reasons to berate the passengers. Heaven forbid your seat is inclined 1" during take off or landing, because you will be made to feel as if you are the lowest of low.


I had my earphones on, and plugged into the planes' audio system as we taxied for take off. One FA stopped to yell at me, " all personal electric devices have to be turned off until after take-off!" I had every passenger within ear shot of me looking at me as if I were a felon. I then pointed out to the nice lady, that my headphones were plugged into the armrest and not some offending i-pod. Without a word, she just kept going looking for the next low down perpetrator. Throughout that whole flight, we had another nazi nun, er, FA, talking over the planes public address, telling us what was now permissable, and what was not permissible.


I am not a mechanic, but I do know that the shielding for the aircraft's radio system is good enough that every person on board could be operating ten i-pods each, and not effect it. So if that is the case, why the harassment? Could it be that they have nothing better to do? Like I mentioned, they no longer hand out pillows and blankets, no longer serve meals or snacks, and no longer assist passenger needs. But heaven forbid you HAVE to go to the restroom when the "fasten seat belt" sign is on. You will have every FA on that aircraft tell you to go back to your seat as you walk down the aisle, even if its two hours before landing.


Welcome to the friendly skies!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Pat On the Back For You

Life is full of two lane streets. You give something, you get something. That is how it works in an ideal society. Everybody wants something, but not all are prepared to give something.


The Beatles, on their album “Abby Road”, closed the album with this couplet. “And in the end, the love you take,is equal to the love you make.”


Truer words were never spoken. If I could tell you a secret that would change your life, would you listen? Here it is… learn how to give love (pass it on!).


It really is that simple. The more love you give, the more you will receive.


I know that it is not all that easy to just pick up and start loving EVERYONE. You have to walk before you can start running.


You learn how to love everyone by learning how to respect them first.


Respect, like love has to be given in order to earn it. For most people though, it is easier to give respect than it is love. If you want to learn how to love, first learn how to respect.


Respect can manifest in many ways. Opening doors for strangers is a good start. Give a co-worker a pat on the back and a compliment; refuse to gossip and talk behind someone’s back; smile and greet people as you pass them in the hall; and most important, allow other people to be themselves. Not passing judgment on others is the ultimate show of respect.


As you get better at showing people simple respect, you will notice that their consideration of you has also risen. You will feel better about yourself, and nothing opens the heart to give love more than a good self esteem.


Once you get real good at giving respect, you’ll realize you’ve been giving love all along.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Don't Think Twice, That's Alright

There's an old saying, "If you don't use it, you lose it". If that's true, the average American brain must be in a state of atrophy. Most of us are seldom called upon to use our cerebral cortex anymore.


 Network TV shows, commercials, our schools, our jobs, etc. have all been "dumbed down" to the point where mental acuity is no longer necessary. No one even performs simple math anymore without the use of a calculator. Think about it, when was the last time you performed multiplication, or division on a piece of paper without a calculator?


I admit, I am as guilty as the next person; I like modern conveniences. My posts would not be the same if I did not have a spell checker to fall back on. The point I'm trying to make is that, we are now conditioned not to think, because we aren't often called upon to do so. The problem with this conditioning, is that society is quickly becoming a herd mentality. Reasoning, and creativity, are becoming things of the past. That's a big problem if mankind is to grow and prosper.


Part of this problem, is everyone's need to be entertained all the time. Whether its an i-pod, TV, computer, or cell phone, everyone is preoccupied with something. Seldom do people read in order to learn something. Novels are very popular, but, nonfiction, history, and science books seldom make the NY Times best seller lists.


I am all for entertainment; we all need to relax and get away once in a while. However, just like you need to exercise your body to keep it in proper working order; you also should have a mental exercise regimen. I like to do the NY Times crossword to keep sharp. I also will mix in informational reading, along with my favorite fiction writers.


Our children need to be taught to balance video games, and TV, with school work, and informational reading. Getting them in the habit of reading the newspaper everyday is a good start. Teach them, "if you don't use it, you lose it".

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Elusive First Song Of Rock-N-Roll

Mike's Common Sense

For those of you who are new with my posts, I am a record collector, a rock and roll historian, and a former disc jockey. In this post, we will try to track down the elusive first rock and roll song.


There has been many attempts to place the first rock and roll song, but rock historians are widely in disagreement with that one song. There are many songs in the running, but before we get to that, what exactly constitutes a rock and roll song?


Black rhythm and blues is well known to be the cradle of rock and roll. It is distinguished by it’s 4/4 time, an up tempo beat, and an emphasis on the saxophone to carry the solo on the middle eight bars. Rock and roll is barely discernable from rhythm and blues, except rock and roll uses the guitar to play the middle eight solo rather than the saxophone. At least that’s my definition. The electric guitar is responsible for the emergence of rock and roll.


If you read any of the histories of rock and roll, the distinguished first song of rock and roll falls to one of the following: Wynonie Harris, with “Good Rocking At Midnight” (1953), “Sh Boom”, by The Chords, (1954), (the first “race” record to break the white top 10); and “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets (1954).


While these are all ground breaking songs, in one way or the other; they do not measure up to be the first rock and roll song. First of all, they all use the saxophone to carry the middle eight, and secondly, they post date the song I believe to be the “first” rock and roll song.


This song is “Saturday Night Fish Fry” pts. 1 and 2, by Louis Jordan (1949). Louis Jordan, was probably the first black man to gain wide acceptance by the white public. While mostly known as a black rhythm and blues star in the forties, he was the first to use the guitar as a solo instrument. His song repeatedly uses the phrase “it was rockin’ ”, and it was a huge hit, in the top ten juke box singles for the year.


For the first Rockabilly song ever, I nominate “We’re Going To Roll and Rock” by Eddie Zack and his cousin Ritchie in 1953. If there is an older rockabilly song, I am not aware of it.
I am proud to state that I own 78rpm copies of both of these songs. (We’re Going To Roll and Rock” is very rare.)


If you have a different opinion, please leave a comment.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

It Was A Crappy Day

Today was kind of a crappy day. You all know what I mean, it was cold, it rained, and nothing at work went right. It was the kind of day you just want to bitch about. We all have these kinds of days, and we all like to bitch about them.


A guy on my crew was in just this kind of mood, when he commented to me that today was a crappy day. Just then a thought occurred to me that I voiced out loud to him. “There are a lot of people in the ground, that wish they had a crappy day like this.”


So, it is, we all have crappy days, interspersed with good ones; but the fact is, we have days, and we should enjoy them all. So, life is not a bed of roses, but it is better than having no life at all. I believe my comment, as morbid as it was, helped brighten the day of my co-worker, and made him think.


I hope I did the same for you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Loving For the Sake Of Love

Wouldn’t it be nice if we loved everyone the way we love our children? We all give our children unconditional love; it is natural to do so. Why can’t we give our mates, our siblings, our parents the same unconditional love? Why can’t we love everyone this way? Unconditional love means that you may not like what someone does, and you may not like them personally, but you love them anyway.


 If you don’t know what love truly is read what St. Paul has to say about love in 1 Corinthians 13. If everyone loved their spouse in this manner divorce would be rare because forgiveness would be natural. If everyone loved their parents and siblings in this manner there would never be split families because there would never be hurt feelings. If we loved everyone like this there would be no fighting or wars.


This is what I call loving for the sake of love. You love because that is all you can do because you are filled with love.


We all make mistakes, we all sin. We all do hurtful things, and we all say things we don’t really mean. We all do these things, but God still loves us.


We need to strive to be more like God and love everyone regardless of their short comings. The only way we can accomplish this is by shrinking our egos, and our feelings of self importance.


The best way to shrink the ego is to fill yourself with love. The best way to fill yourself with love is to learn how to love and accept yourself and your short comings.


Jesus said “Love God, love yourself, and love your neighbor.” This is very important, not only what he said, but the order in which he said it. To fill yourself with love you must first learn to love God, then you must learn how to love yourself. Only after you have accomplished the first two, will you be able to love others.


Try to find a few minutes each day to connect with God and to send Him your love. Sit quietly and fill yourself with love; you can do this by thinking about someone you truly love. This person can be Jesus, your spouse, your child, your pet, anyone that inspires love for you. Gently sing HU as your song of love to God. This highly charged spiritual word will help open your heart to receive God’s love. Over time you will fill your heart and yourself with love. You will love everyone simply for the sake of love. You will become a shining beacon of love showing others the way of love.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Importance Of Enemies

I am not Christian, However, I like to quote Jesus on occasion. "Love thy enemies" he said. Why? Especially in Jesus' time when barbarity, was high in popularity.

Let's face it, the reason someone is an enemy is because that person is an a-hole. But for some strange reason, that person thinks you are an a-hole, and that's why he treats you that way. I have had people decide not to like me that I had never spoken to.

Is it karma that brings two enemies together? Very possibly, but not for the reason you might think. The logical thought would be that the two souls are old enemies from a past life. The truth is that the two souls are extremely close, so close that one is willing to antagonize the other. In other words, one soul accepts his "role" in order to help his friend soul grow.

In life, friends, loved ones, teachers, clergy, all teach us the lessons we need to learn. But, it is the a-holes, demons, and even Satan, that check to see if you have passed the test. Your enemies are the ones that test your true meddle. They are as important to your overall spiritual growth as the teachers, and Saints.

In the grand view of God we are all one, and helping each other evolve up the spiritual scale.

Want to learn more about how souls take on various roles in your life? Click here

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bail Me Out...Please!

Will wonders never cease? It’s true, strange things happen every day. Reports today stated that the government has speculated that Bank of America would need to receive another 34 billion dollars in order to survive the economic uncertainties of the next few months. However Bank of America has stated that they are solid, and that they had a very good first quarter of this year. They are saying that they really don’t think they need any more bail out money.


My guess is that they saw the scrutiny that AIG went through after they received their last bail out, and don’t want any part of that and the death threats that all of their management people received after they decided to give that money out as bonuses. They simply don’t have the gumption, and I guess they really don’t need the money that badly.


I, on the other hand do have the gumption, and will be glad to under go the scrutiny involved. As long as the government is in a giving mood, I would like them to give me the money. Unlike AIG I would spend the money wisely. Here is how my press conference would go six months after I got my bail out.


“Sir, there are reports that after you received one billion dollars of the people’s money, that you have gone on a reckless spending spree, wasting much of the hard earned money of the American People.” “Nonsense” I would reply, “Let me account for my spending.” “After receiving the money I realized that in order for me to a fully actualized, healthy person I would need to be able to exercise regularly, so I ordered a full size basketball court, and an Olympic sized swimming pool to be installed. I also decided that to be fully actualized, I would need to be able to entertain guests in my home, so I ordered a walk in humidor filled with various Cuban, Dominican, and Honduran cigars, a walk in refrigerator filled with beers from around the world, and several cases of George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee whiskey, Crown Royal, and Dom Perrignon.


However when the construction people arrived they told me I didn’t have the space to do all of this, so I bought all of the houses on my block and had them torn down so I could have a four story 145 room mansion built. Of course I couldn’t possibly live in a house with 145 empty rooms, so I installed HDTV’s, and exotic furnishings from around the world in all of them.


My Ford Escape has been running a little rough lately, and that has caused my anxiety level, and my blood pressure to rise to dangerous levels. Since my health is very important to me, I had the Escape towed away, and I replaced it with a Ferrari, Porsche Spider, Rolls Royce, and a Bentley. My reasoning was that if one of them should have problems, I would have the others to fall back on, thereby reducing the stress in my life. As you can see I spent the people’s money very wisely.
Oh, by the way, I also installed a 12 ft. electric fence, security system, and bullet-proof windows.

Any other questions?”

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Karaoke Kid

I don't go out much, I pretty much like to hang out on my back porch, drink beer, sip bourbon, smoke cigars, and watch my favorite sports shows on Tivo. You might think that I live a quiet, boring life, but I am plenty happy to just relax when I'm not at work.


However every two weeks I like to get out, kick back a few beers, and belt out a few songs. I like to sing karaoke. I'm not claiming to be a great singer, but unlike many karaoke singers, I can carry a tune.


I used to sing a lot when I was younger and in school. I even was told many times that I looked like Peter Tork of the Monkees. It gives you some idea of how OLD I am, and the songs I sing are pretty much oldies, because I am familiar with them.


There is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush you get, when you can go up in front of a bunch strangers, and just ace the song you are doing.


Bombing, however, is another story. Bombing a song is a very distinct possibility anytime you try out a new song for the first time. There is no rehearsal time, no advance on the key, just sing!


Since I abhor to do the same songs all the time, I put myself at risk quite a bit. Nothing ventured...
I remember that I really wanted to try "Unchain My Heart" by Joe Cocker. I was so afraid of ruining that song, that it took 2 months and 3 shots of tequila, to get me to try it. It was a natural song for me, and now I still sing it from time to time, because it is really a fun song to do.


That's the thing that keeps me coming back, singing is fun. One night every two weeks, I go out and have a few drinks,(I have a designated driver) and sing as if I know how to.


What fun!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Is Here

Spring has sprung. Spring is everyone’s favorite time of the year. Everything that was brown, or white, is now green. The trees that were barren now have new leaves and blossoms. The robins are back singing their songs of happiness, and the world is filled with love.


Spring is not only a time of renewal, but it is also mating season. The birds are building their nests in preparation of their new arrivals, and the critters are getting together in order to propagate.
After a long cold winter of being cooped up indoors, people are happy to venture back outside.

Joggers litter the sidewalks, golfers are gleefully chasing their little white balls around, and softball, and soccer players are filling up the parks. Springtime is filled with plants, animals, and people rejoicing.


Perhaps not everything about spring is positive; the flies and mosquitoes are back as nasty as ever, and sun burns are on the rise. Most people though will gladly put up with these trifles in order to get as far away from winter as possible.


Since everyone is enjoying spring with a skip in their step, and a song in their heart; I thought I would like to share my favorite song of spring with you. It is by Dr. Tom Lehrer, who happens to be a mathematics professor at Harvard. Enjoy! (This post will not be complete unless you click on the link and listen to this great song of spring.)


Happy Spring to you and yours!

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This site is more a column than a blog. I write humorous, spiritual, and political articles. Everything I write is designed to make you think; what you think is up to you.