Kickstart This Campaign…

…or at least fund this crowdsource.

I saw an article today that defined someone today as “deserving” for, really, the act of being a decent human being.
A crowdsourcing campaign was set up to fund something for this person just for publicly helping someone else out.

Just because you shovel the sidewalk for someone else, doesn’t mean the world owes you $300,000.
Every time I remove snow, I do not only my own, but the house to each side of my own, sometimes further. I don’t do this because I am some hero. I don’t do this because I am looking for accolades. I do it because I like shoveling snow and I am nice and it is nice for the people who have to use the sidewalk. It is because I am civilized and we live in a society and we are supposed to do for each other, that’s the deal.
(When in society did we start rewarding the mundane? When we do that, what becomes of the extraordinary? I suppose it becomes unbelievable; unwanted and by the wayside. I guess it’s easier to yell “PHOTOSHOP” than accept and be happy that someone could (dare) shine brighter than we do.)

This post is going to deal, initially, with money, but that isn’t really what it’s about. Money, as per usual with me, is merely a metaphor. This is a bit of a free-style personal rant, I guess…
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What’s that phrase?

“…Stop making stupid people famous”

So, unless you’ve been asleep on the internet, you probably know about the mugshot that went viral. The convicted felon that everyone was swooning over, saying he is “too pretty” to be in jail, etc. Actually, no, he isn’t too pretty to be in jail, not if he committed crimes. He is right where he belongs.

However, the news on this person now is that apparently, he’s getting a modeling agent and modeling gigs from behind bars.
What?

He has mug shots going back 12 years.

So WHAT kind of message does this send to young kids? It’s ok to be a felon, just be pretty, you’ll get a good job.

Just like the other messages we have sent out, already:
It’s ok to make sex tapes, just have some warped superficial sense of pretty, you’ll be famous and rich.

It’s ok to maybe rape young girls and at the very least do questionable things with them, so long as you are an R&B music star.

And…
It’s ok to abuse animals, you’ll still make millions of dollars and be a hero playing football.
(No! It really isn’t. It is CRIMINAL that man was allowed back to play professional football. Shame on the entire NFL and every fan who watches it and endorsed that.)

No wonder kids feel it’s ok to lack ambition and be utterly disrespectful to themselves, authority, the law and each other. Society shows them THAT is what gets rewarded.

You REALLY can’t complain about society going to hell in a hand-basket when it’s your own hand carrying the basket.

So Much Of Everything…

…and still a lot of nothing.

I am contemplating a piece of technology.
I am waiting for the updated version, set to release in a few days, if I do, indeed, make the purchase.

It is a device you wear on your wrist. A watch.
However, it is more than a watch…
…it is a PHONE…
…and also a camera (that takes video)…
…a notepad…
…messaging device…
…music player…
…pedometer…
…heart rate monitor…
…GPS…
…and has a touch screen, 4 gigs of memory and 512 MB Ram.
All for the low, low cost of just a few hundred dollars!

Do you know what this is? This is AMAZING!
It has MORE memory than several of the first computers/laptops I owned. It is a PHONE, on your WRIST. This is LITERALLY living in the age of *Star Trek* times! Crazy, right?
Well, you’d think…

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So Connected…

…only to be disconnected.

I follow the rules, and frankly, sometimes it doesn’t pay. However, I do it anyway.

On this past Thursday, I have seen multiple people post on Social Media about the change in the airlines’ in-flight rules regarding electronics, posted, of course with commentary.
Basically, saying “now you don’t have to hide what you always did” or “I just pretended to disconnect anyway” or something to the like about how they or other people (presumably *everyone*) never turned their electronics off on a plane. I never turned mine on…
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Kindness; Doing Good…

…and all the good that comes back to you.

I do nice things for people. It is just part of who I am. I can not help it, I have to be nice, I have to give, I have to share. It’s just in my nature.

MOST of the time, I am glad for this being part of my nature. I truly believe that to have things, you have to give things away – basically, fortune is meant to be shared. No, this doesn’t mean you give everything away and leave yourself at a deficit (though, I have done that). It means when you know you are fortunate, even a little bit, you help those less so – in whatever way that presents itself. You give back as a form of gratitude, of saying “Thank You” to the universe. It doesn’t matter how you do it; you don’t have to give away your money – maybe you volunteer at an animal shelter, or you help at a retirement home or you do something to help a friend out. This all counts. I think it’s just a matter of humbling yourself a little and reminding yourself that just because of where you are, doesn’t mean you started there. It’s remembering “being there” so you can appreciate where you are at now…. remember what you are working for and also putting some good back into the world (because you’ve been blessed with good).
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Sometimes, You Have To Believe…

…Or at least suspend your disbelief.

The other day, I was reading something on the internet that featured a photograph. The photo happened to be of one of the black sand beaches in Iceland, with large chunks of ice on the beach.
(The photo in question was similar to this one here, which is (obviously) not my personal photo.)

Under the article, of course, there were comments, and many of the comments turned to the *issue* of the photograph (which, really, was secondary to the point of the article). There were a lot of people who were *justifying* the photo, either by saying "photoshop!" or that it was a negative of the original (and that the sand was actually white and those were rocks).

People who've perhaps have never been outside their own sphere?
I have been to Iceland. I have seen such beaches. What's more, when in Iceland, I was willing to suspend my disbelief and enjoy, "be local" and just for a minute believe in elves and fairies and "hidden people." Why? Because it is FUN, it is FUN to believe in the (seemingly) impossible, because there by… anything is possible …and you don’t limit yourself. Because, maybe I do not know everything, and there are things that may only be possible if we are open to them being possible.
(Let’s put this is perspective as to where I am coming from; I have written on this before, here.)
– Perhaps, some may say this makes me a little delusional, but I really do not mind. It makes me happy, it makes me possible.

However, I get very frustrated with that attitude of instant disbelief, of deniability.
That constant *search* for something logical, or just a ‘show me’ approach. Such an attitude leads to viewpoint where if you don’t believe it possible, it can’t exist.
My nephew is a good one for this. When I show him things, photos, even those taken long before the program was at everyone’s fingertips, he says “Photoshopped!”, even when it is not. It drives me mad.

Why is there a whole segment of the population that does this? I do not know.
Look, I am not saying you HAVE to believe in fairies and falling stars, but isn’t there a happy in-between?
We live in an instant culture, there is very little delayed gratification and so much instant gratification.

Remember waiting, Saving and earning… and affording your life?
Not beyond our means with credit cards that keep stretching.
When you saved for something and it had *value* to you.
A time before a discount mass-retailer made the 52in flatscreen available, on clearance, for $299, and we trampled each other to get there.
When it was ok to not have the absolute newest of everything.
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Phantasmagoria….

…and what might be behind the Magic Lantern.

Sometimes, the internet really bothers me.
I know… I know…
This is going to a tired statement with a simple solution, and of course I would be ready for a technology break just after starting a blog… But hey! You got this far, just play along.

For a very long time, I never read the comments on things posted, be it a photo on Facebook or a news story or whatever. I accepted the item for how it was presented and made my own conclusion rather than be influenced by opinion. I started to read the comments, after a fashion (a specific incident precipitated it). I really wish I had not.
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