Friday, June 8, 2012


Hi there!  We’re authors L. Barnett Evans and C. V. Rhodes and the characters from our books GRANDMOTHERS, INCORPORATED and SAVING SIN CITY have been generous enough to let us write the final blog post for Mini Musings.
On this blog our ladies were encouraged to express themselves quite freely and believe me, they have.  The old broads have had their say for a year with 52 posts and if you’ve paid attention to them, they have complained about everything imaginable, including: politics, child rearing, religious attitudes, the lack of customer service and the joy of cursing.  Well, we are giving the adventurous sleuths a rest and retiring their blog for a while.
Instead, Evans and Rhodes will be blogging about the thing we enjoy most—books.  Our blog, WE WRITE BOOK REVIEWS, will be devoted to reviewing new—and some not so new—book titles with the object of giving you an insight on what’s hot and what’s not.
We will be launching our blog on June 13, 2012, so if you’re trying to get a perspective on a book or have a book you would like to have reviewed, please join us at
Until then we want you to Muse On!

Friday, June 1, 2012


I like to curse!  Yeah, I said it. If you didn’t understand what I said, I’ll repeat it. I, Connie Palmer, mother, grandmother and a woman in her sixties, like to curse.
Oh I know that it’s not supposed to be acceptable, especially in public.   It’s said that a person who curses lacks a vocabulary, or even worse lacks class.  Cursing is said to be disrespectful, offensive, unacceptable, blah, blah, blah.  I’ve heard it all.  
When I was growing up in the South, the only people that I heard who cursed in public were those who didn’t go to church, and were headed for hell anyway.  That included the people who drank liquor, especially on the weekends, and of course the “loose women” in town.  For reasons that I never understood it seemed more acceptable for men to curse than it was for women.   Females were expected to be ladies no matter their profession, and cursing was just not ladylike.
I remember that I used to watch with wonder and envy those “fast tailed women” who used to sashay around our small town cursing and smoking and drinking like men, and not caring what anybody thought. None of the good folks in town respected them; but being what they called a “spirited child” I envied the freedom they seemed to have to be themselves and I became a closet curser. Oh, I didn’t use the big “bad” words, and would have gotten the whipping of my life if I had said any of them out loud.  Yet, an occasional hell or damn might form in my mind, but I was too scared of a punishment from home and from God to let them slide from my tongue. Still, they were there ready and wanting to burst loose.
When I was in my mid teens I got married and had four children in less than eight years—you talk about wanting to curse!  Raising those kids and handling a husband stretched me to the limit. I managed to do pretty well not saying what I really wanted to say, but on rare occasions I did let loose a good one.  
I made it through those years, with my cursing vocabulary still relatively small.  How I did it I still don’t know, but as the kids left the house and after my husband died, I noticed that gradually my cursing vocabulary increased.  Presently, I’m pretty good at putting a variety of curse words together, especially for inconsiderate drivers, sanctimonious hypocrites and stupid politicians.
I find that a few good curse words express my feelings, quick and fast.  There is no misunderstanding when I make my point. I know that for some cursing is still not acceptable, but at this point in my life I just don’t care.  There are some words that I still won’t say, but in today’s society anything goes and it probably wouldn’t matter if I did.   
Maybe I should feel guilty about being a curser, especially since I still go to church.  I guess that makes me one of those hypocrites that I have a few chosen words for, but who’s going to hell first?  Cursers or killers?  Muse on that!

Friday, May 25, 2012


I just spent a good portion of my time looking for my glasses so that I could sit down and write this message.  Before that I spent quite some time trying to remember what it was that I was looking for.  That’s a lot of wasted and I don’t like it.
Before I began looking for my glasses, I had been relaxing in bed, wondering what it was I had planned to do today.  I couldn’t remember, but I didn’t concern myself, because you see I’m in my 80s and forgetfulness comes with the privilege of aging. So a couple of years ago I came up with a plan to help me remember things.
 I have this bright red binder that I keep on the bed stand next to my bed.  I placed it there so that I could find it.  In the binder I keep Daily Schedule and Planner sheets for each day of the week.  The sheets list the days’ date, errands, appointments, phone calls as well as miscellaneous things I plan to do. This system and those sheets have been a blessing that I’ve come to appreciate.
 I’ve had this system for quite some time, but my grandchildren think that its old fashion, so last Christmas they bought me some sort of fancy gadget called a Blackberry.  It was suppose to replace my Planning Sheets and be easier for me. They tried to show me how to use it, but I wasn’t impressed.  I couldn’t make hide nor hare out of that dog gone contraption. Besides, I put it up some place so that I could find it later and only God knows where it is.  I say good riddance!  I’m back to the old tried and true.
 Of course lately I’ve been kind of iffy about writing my plans down on a daily basis.  You see one day I had this bright idea about moving my red binder to some place where it would be more convenient.  Well, after that I never saw it again but I was sure that I’d find it someplace around here one day.  At least I had copies of the planning pages that I put in the binder.  Unfortunately, I needed my glasses to write on the planning sheet.
Well, I was about to write out my schedule for today when the telephone rang.  I can’t recall who was on the other end, but while I was talking it gave me a chance to pick up a few things here and there as I was walking through the house chatting.  Lo and behold, what did I stumble up on but my red binder!  Guess what was tucked between the pages?  My glasses!  
 Of course the planning sheet page that I had right in my hand must have fallen on the floor and slipped under some furniture or something, because I couldn’t find it.  Now, I don’t know what else I was planning to do today, but at least I’m sitting in front of the computer ready to write about—

Hmmm, what was it?  Hopefully, I’ll remember before the day is over.  Meanwhile, I’ll muse on it.

Friday, May 18, 2012


I’m Beatrice Bell.  My friends call me Bea.  I’m a fairly intelligent woman with a high school diploma  and I’m retired now,  but during my life-time I think I earned a pretty good living.  I’m not well-to-do but I have enough money to meet my needs and wants and I’m relatively happy.  However, one of the regrets of my life is that I did not get a college education.

I tried to instill in my children a love of learning and my late husband and I managed to put both of our sons through college with financial assistance from grants and scholarships.  Plus, our boys worked while they were in school.  You see by being vested in their college educations, I believe that they appreciated it more.

Back when I was growing up the old folks used to always stress that I should get a high school education so that I could get a “really good job.”  Nowadays to be considered for almost any “really good job” a college degree is almost a must.  It seems that a lot of people are trying to do just that. Turn on the TV or radio or read a newspaper or magazine and you’ll see an ad for a college of some kind. These days it seems there is no way to not get a college degree.  There are traditional colleges, accelerated courses, trade schools, virtual colleges, and weekend degrees. Yet, I’ve discovered one thing over the years and that is just because a person has a degree doesn’t mean that they’re educated, and I mean that in more ways than one. 

I don’t want to generalize, but I’ve always suspected that there are a lot of people with degrees that still have no education.  After reading an article by Andrea Neal, who is an adjunct scholar with the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, it seems that my suspicion may be justified.

Neal cited some of the following statistics:

According to the National Research Council, as of 2007 there was “A pervasive lack of knowledge about foreign cultures and foreign languages threatens the security of the United States as well as its ability to compete in the global market.

·         85 percent of college students can graduate without taking an intermediate level foreign language course,

·         In 80 percent of schools students don’t have to take a class in U. S. History

·         In 34 percent of schools, students don’t have to enroll in a single math class

It’s not just that the education that a lot of students receive may not be worth the paper it’s printed on, but according to Neal, a  study by economists Frederic Pryor and David Schaffer, conducted in the year 2000, showed that a growing number of college graduates were taking “high school” jobs because of their low level of cognitive skills.  That means that they don’t know how to think through a problem. 

You see the world in general, and the business world in particular, is shrinking. In order to get the “good jobs” of today, at the very least students need some knowledge about how the world works.  They need the ability to speak a language besides English, and they need to understand how different cultures work.  Our college students are competing with bright minds from all over the world and an intimate knowledge of video games just won’t cut it.

They say that knowledge is power.  Today’s students need that knowledge and to get it they will have to roll up their sleeves and prepare to work If they truly want to get a better job and make more money, they’ll need to do their part.  That means taking harder classes, spending most of their time studying their subjects and actually attending classes.  People who really want to be educated will have to search for schools that make them use their minds and that will help them to develop their thinking skills.

The first step in developing cognitive skills is being able to figure out that if you spend thousands of dollars for a degree, it ought to be worth more than just the paper it is printed on. Students need to take the college courses that will make them well-rounded, and for goodness sakes, students should make sure that whatever institution of higher learning that they attend is at least accredited. But beware! Neal’s article points out that many accredited schools aren’t up to par when it comes to developing the skills that graduates need.   So please!  Muse on that.

Friday, May 11, 2012


This is Hattie Collier reminding you that something I’ve always heard is very true:  be careful what you ask for, you just may get it.  Back in the 60’s and 70’s a whole lot of women, were hollerin’ about sex discrimination.  I wasn’t necessarily one of them, but even I had to admit some things about being a woman was downright unfair.
Once a woman married, her personal identity all but disappeared.  She became “Mrs. John Doe” and was sort of identified by her husband.   If a woman wanted to buy so much as a piece of gum on credit the salesman wanted an okay from her husband. 
Things hit the fan with the Equal Rights Act.  Now, I thought it was about women getting equal pay for equal work; same as a man.  Instead it turned into a whole lot of hoopla on what jobs women could or couldn’t do, whether a man should still open a door for a woman, who should pay on a date and a whole lot of other nonsense that, to me, just missed the point altogether. 
Everybody knows that compared to the rest of the world, the United States seems more obsessed with the subject of sex than any other country, so the Sexual Revolution was almost inevitable.  Women wanted to be as free to be as sexually promiscuous as men.  Congratulations! We got what we asked for.
So, here we are today where sex is freely talked about, looked at and practiced.  Everything has sexual overtones.  You buy a car and a skimpily clad woman suggests that someone like her comes with the purchase.  A television commercial suggests that plumbing problems are solved by two sexy ingredients with the “longest snake” ever to unclog your drain.  Lord have mercy!
Some would think it’s an improvement that television shows have evolved from married couples sleeping in separate beds to naked unmarried couples rolling around in a chorus of groans and lip-smacking kisses. Really?
In spite of what my friends might say I’m not a prude, but in my opinion people who say that they want to tone down the sex and violence in the media are wrong when they claim they want to do so to protect the children.  It should be toned down to protect the rest of us from ignorant adults who apparently have no self control.
In just one week of reading the news and watching television I counted no less than five stories on teachers and coaches molesting children.  One of these adults was accused of having sex with a student on his desk! What is going on?
We have senators, congressmen, presidents and president-wantabe’s who can’t control their sexual urges long enough to get elected or to serve the country with honor.  Am I wrong?
I’m not stupid.  I know that without a healthy interest in sex, none of us would be here.  Yet in the grand scheme of things, it just aint that important.
They say that familiarity breeds contempt, and they’re right.  In this country, sex has become a recreational sport or a pastime to replace having a real relationship.  Folks are having sex when and where they want.  We talk about it any place and at any time.  Some folks even allow their kids to engage in sex at home where it’s “safe”.  In short, when it comes to sex in the good old U.S.A. almost anything goes.
I taught my children to do what’s right and not fall for the ‘everybody’s doing it’ line. That advice might be good for all of us.  Just because everybody is doing it, doesn’t make it right.   We need to be careful about what we ask for just in case we get it.
Now muse on that!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Hi! Connie Palmer here and usually I don’t write much about kids on this blog. My late husband and I raised four children who are all grown now and are out on their own, so the subject is not one that occupies much of my time.  Yet when I went on the internet this morning and read this article with the title, “5 Things Parents Shouldn’t Say to Their Kids”, I changed my mind.  I decided that I had something to say about this.

Again we got some “experts” telling parents what will ruin our kids for life.  While I can agree with the therapist who said that “words hurt and they can’t be taken back, so be careful”, I find it hard to agree what some of the other things that other “experts” went on to say.
Don’t say, “I don’t care because you’re cutting off communication with your child and saying that something important to him or her isn’t so important to you.”  
Okay, I can understand that. What is recommended is telling the child that they can share what they have to say with you at the end of the day.  That sounds reasonable, but I’ve got to admit that I didn’t have time to sit down and address all of the things that my four kids—who were all two years apart—had to tell me about every little thing, every minute of every day.  I had a business to run, a house to clean, homework to check, sports events to attend, parent-teacher conferences to go to, a husband to try and make happy as well as love to dispense to everyone in the household, not to mention elderly parents to care for and worry about. I don’t remember having enough time at the end of the day to address much of anything else but sleep.     

Don’t say, "Act your age!"   The therapist says that this is less about the child's behavior and all about the parent trying to manage his or her own frustration. The child may, in fact, be acting their age. "Instead, “come up with an effective response instead of a reaction.”  Of course she can’t give you the “effective response” because then she’d be blamed if it didn’t work.  It is assumed that in a parents very busy day they have nothing but time to go through a list of things to say to your eight year old, laying on the floor in the middle of a grocery store having a tantrum.  
I guess I flunked on that one, because I did say “act your age”.  I say it now to my grown children and to my grandchildren, and I’ll continue to do so.  I personally  think that with maturity comes increased responsibility.  So sue me.  
Don’t say, "Say you're sorry!" The reason for this one according to Bill Corbett, a parent educator, author, producer/host of the parenting TV show “Creating Cooperative Kids, is that "forcing a child to apologize does not teach a child social skills." He suggests that if your kid hits another kid this is what you should do:  “apologize to the child for your kid as a way to model the behavior you're trying to encourage. And make sure that when you're in situations where an apology is warranted, you deliver it just as easily.
 All I’ve got to say about this one is, are you kidding?!  I have no problem saying I’m sorry if I do something wrong, because it’s wrong, and I damn well expected my kids to apologize for the same reason, and they still do.

Don’t say, "Don't you get it?" if your child doesn’t understand how to do something after many unsuccessful tries.  Learning specialist and author Jill Lauren says that “Implicit in a 'don't you get it' comment are the judgments of 'Why don't you get it?' followed by 'What's wrong with you for not getting it?” She suggest that the parent steps away from trying to teach a child something,  perhaps  research alternative approaches to teaching whatever it is your child is trying to learn and go back to them again and teach it. 
Oooookay.  While I don’t totally disagree with what’s being said here, I just have to say that I personally envy all of the parents out there who have the time to do all of this research.  Times really have changed.

And this last one is my favorite.  Don’t say "I'm going to leave without you!"  Deborah Gilboa, a family doctor, parenting speaker and mother of four boys says that saying this results in the child quickly learning that parents make empty threats.  The doctor’s suggestion is this: "You can tell them it's not acceptable but you have to motivate them with a consequence that you can carry out." 
Uh huh, and this sounds like what we did.  When our kids were young and inconsiderate enough to disregard the time limits of our family, we wouldn’t let them go on the next outing, reminding that child that they had made us late the last time they went along.  When they were older, we also didn’t make empty threats. We left them. I can’t tell you how many times one of our kids had to chase the car down the street, or call one of our relatives to pick them up or get on a bus and come home.  The results have been four prompt kids who up to this very day are respectful of other people’s time. So I guess we passed this one, not that I care what these experts had to say.  Ooops!  I’m not supposed to say that.
Anyway, some non-expert like me who also read this article came to the following conclusion about the results of all of this expertise.  He left this comment:  “ we have a culture of spoiled people with little sense of humanity except their own.” 
Maybe all of us need to muse on that!

Friday, April 27, 2012


What in the world would make people think that if you’ve got some years on you that you can’t be a crook?  It makes sense to me that being older would make somebody a better criminal. Older people have experience.  So you would think that folks with common sense had already figured out that its character and not age that determines whether a person is honest or not, but I guess that’s not the case.

You see, on the TV news recently they had a story about this 73 year old woman in Oklahoma who was running a drug ring. They put her white-haired mug on the screen and the news anchors seemed to be in shock as they blabbed about how sweet she looked (which was a matter of opinion), and how they just couldn't believe that she ran a drug cartel.  Ha!

The only question that I had about the whole thing was why couldn’t they believe it? From what the report said the woman was busted with 4 pounds of marijuana, worth about $276,000. That’s a lot of money, especially if you’re someone living on Social Security.  The woman told the authorities that she was building a nest egg for her old age.  I might not agree with how she did it, but what she said makes sense to me and from what I heard, she had been running this drug ring for some time without raising suspicion.  I wasn’t surprised by that either.

It also seems logical that the most successful criminals would be the ones who would seem to be the least harmful.  That’s why it would be easier for an older person to fool folks, especially the ones who refuse to give up the stereotypes. Things are changing and so are the times. I guess when “granny” or “paw paw” rip enough folks off, they’ll get the message.

I’m just surprised that there haven’t been more stories like this.  Shoot, for the average person, Social Security is barely enough to live on.  I guess that some folks figure that they have to get extra money somehow.  Come to think of it there are probably a lot more “seniors” who choose illegal activities to make extra money than folks think. They just don’t get caught because they look too sweet

And while I’m at it, whose bright idea was it to ease up on frisking blue haired old ladies and little kids at the airport security gate?  I say search those suckers!  Even I can think of a bunch of scenarios in which the most innocent looking airline passengers can be used for the worst things possible.  I won’t give any examples of what I can think of to pull off terrorist attacks by “sweet faced old ladies”, but if I can think of some I’m sure that these terrorist can too.

I think that everybody who passes through the security gate at an airport should be searched with a fine tooth comb, particularly when my life is at stake.  I don’t care how innocent they look.  Any old fart can be a gangsta. 

You can call me a cynic, but I’ll call myself sensible.  So you can muse on that!

Friday, April 20, 2012


This is Bea Bell, and I think that I’m a fairly tolerate woman who accepts quite a few things that the Twenty-first century has to offer.  I struggle with technology but I still try to keep up to date with it.  Yet, I’ve got to say that there are some changes in this modern society that just get me riled.
I recently found out that the retail store, Dollar General, is test marketing beer sales in their stores.  In Indianapolis, Indiana, 30 stores have applied for liquor licenses.  I’m all for good business practices but liquor sales in this particular chain store is totally irresponsible. The majority of the 30 stores that are doing the test marketing are in low-income areas where there is no shortage of places to buy alcohol already.
This chain store defines its mission as "For Customers... Price, Quality and Great Prices; For Employees... Respect and Opportunity; For Shareholders... A Superior Return; and for Communities... A Better Life." Call me crazy, but I don’t see alcohol sales as providing a better way of life for communities.
Unfortunately, this chain of stores is not alone with the liquor sales. The White Castle hamburger chain is getting into the act.  The ninety-year old burger chain is testing beer and wine sales in Lafayette, Indiana, which is home to Purdue University.  According to a Bloomberg Business Week article, customers can buy a glass of wine for $4.50 or a domestic beer for $3.00. Can you believe that this is White Castle I’m talking about? 
It doesn’t stop there.  Burger King recently opened “Whooper Bars” in Miami, Las Vegas and Kansas City, and these bars sell beer.  Even Star Bucks has begun to sell beer and wine in a few of their Seattle stores.  Beer goes for $5.00 a bottle and wine can cost as much as $9.00 a glass!  
Even though these stores claim to be giving the customers what they want, my guess is that the real reason for these liquor sales is that they’re trying to get a bigger share of our limited dollars.  My concern is that there may be no place left in America that can be considered a family establishment.  If kids can sit in a White Castle or Burger King and watch the adults drink I think there is a negative message finding its way into young minds.
Alcohol sales in fast food restaurants are nothing new.  Pizza Hut has been doing it for years in their dine-in restaurants, but I don’t believe we need more places where children are exposed to alcohol.   Just think about it.  If you’re a kid who is under-aged and wants to drink it’s much less conspicuous getting an older person to purchase beer for you from a Dollar General store than it is waiting for them outside of a liquor store. 
Millions of people drink responsibly, but I really don’t want the irresponsible element taking their bad habits into family-friendly establishments.  I understand that business is based on the dollars you can bring in and not the high-sounding message of company mission statement as in the case of Dollar General.  Business is about money and these businesses are making it obvious that the welfare of our children does not count.  The slogan must be:  more drunks mean more money, so bring ‘em on.
I know that I’m ranting, but I just can’t help it.  I have some fond memories of White Castle as I was growing up.  I do recall seeing drunks came to White Castle to quench their thirst, but for the munchies not for a beer or wine.  Of course I might be concerned for nothing.  If  these places keep marking up the price of beer hard drinkers won’t be able to afford the burgers and the beer anyway.
Just muse on it.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I’m Hattie Collier and if you’ve been following us you know that my friend Bea is the one interested in politics.  But, I’ve been thinking lately.  We all know that over time words can change meaning.  For instance take the word bad.  Generally it means something that’s not good, or maybe immoral or wicked, but these days you can find folks that use the word to mean something cool or desirable.  Crazy, ain’t it?
We’re always good at using words to label people and it looks like this election year politicians everywhere are stocking up on their arsenal of word bombs.  My hope for us voters is that we listen not only to what these candidates call each other, but also to what they say they will actually do. These political candidates label each other so much that it got me curious about what those labels mean.
I looked up the word “conservative”, because these days—especially in the Republican Party—every candidate out there claims to be more conservative than his opponent.  The word means “a reluctance to accept change.  Politically speaking it’s a right-of-center political philosophy based on a tendency to support gradual rather than abrupt change and to preserve the status quo”.  Okay, so what does that mean?  Just say no?  
Now candidates seem to attach the liberal” label to Democrats like it’s some sort of disease.   A political definition of a liberal is that it “refers to someone who favors gradual reform, especially political reforms that extend democracy, distribute wealth more evenly, and protect the personal freedom of the individual or to be broad-minded."  Does that mean that's a person who will accept anything?
I’m getting tired of hearing all of the labels. No one is completely one thing or the other.  Hopefully, there are few people who never budge on the way they think about everything.  By the same token, I hope that nobody is so broad minded that they will accept anything and stand for nothing. 
I might not be the brightest bulb walking this earth, but I’m smart enough to know that when I cast a vote for the candidates this year I’m voting for people who will move this country forward.  I'm not voting for some label.
I read that the genius, Albert Einstein, once said that three great things rule this world:  stupidity, fear, and greed.  That sounds more familiar to me than labels, and it’s something to muse on in this election year.

Friday, April 6, 2012


As a woman in her sixties and a successful real estate entrepreneur, people are always asking me, “Is your business computerized?”  They say it as though it’s a given that I couldn’t possibly be making any money if it’s not.  Well I’m always glad to inform the busy bodies who ask that yes Connie Palmer’s enterprise is computerized and I’m taking care of business quite nicely, thank you.  I have a business page on LinkedIn and on Facebook.  I then whip out my smart phone and even on occasion my ipad to emphasize the fact that I am armed to the teeth with modern technology.  Of course, the assumption is that I know how to use all of the weapons in my arsenal.  I’m here to tell you that the assumption is wrong, because I am what some people in this country might refer to as being technically challenged.
Sure, I  use computers in my business, and I’ve got to say they do make life a lot easier, but unfortunately I don’t hold the same high opinion of a smart phone . I can make a call, but this texting thing, I can’t get into it.  Why in the hell would I want to talk to somebody on a phone without hearing their voice?  A lot can be said in hearing the tones in the human voice.  There are nuances that can’t be translated in a text message. My kids and grandkids have tried to show me how to text and how to understand the shortcuts in the language that are used in texting.   All I’ve got to say is it really does not interest me and no wonder the academic scores are going down in our school system.  The kids don’t know how to spell!  What the hell is lol?  Is it too hard to spell the words lots of love?    
I don’t have to have my phone take pictures either, although I have to confess that it can be convenient at times and it can mean less clutter in my purse, but I’ve really got to get use to taking a photograph on a phone—that is when I learn how to do it.  And what in God’s name is an App?
Shoot, I’m still using my computer as a giant word processor.  If it hadn’t been for my office assistant showing me how, I wouldn’t be on the internet and I’m still struggling with how to get on it with my smart phone.  Have Mercy!  The phone is smarter than me!  It’s all a bit too much. 
Speaking of which, the GPS system that one of my sons gave me for Christmas almost got me killed recently when it gave me directions to turn right and drive into a brick wall.  I can get lost following a paper map, or better yet, using Map Quest. I don’t need some irritating stranger’s voice helping me do it.
People, I know that we’re in the Age of Technology and I don’t want to be left behind, but I think that things are moving a bit too fast for me and catching up is taking a lot of effort.  I’m not sure that I’m going to make. 
With that in mind, don’t look for my personal page on Facebook. I choose to keep my personal business to myself only to be shared with my real friends.  Expect to hear my voice over the telephone if you want to communicate with me, or better yet let’s have lunch or dinner.   You see, I know that it’s old fashion, but human connection is what I’m into, and no smart phones, GPS systems, text messages or Facebook friends can replace it.  Now you can muse on that!  

Friday, March 30, 2012


The other day I hit a light pole with my car, and I was pissed, especially since I was trying to be safe by looking to my right to make sure no cars were coming down this one way driveway before I turned left to leave the parking lot. Little did I know that while I drove slowly looking right, ready to gun the engine and turn left, my car had drifted toward the light pole that I thought that I had cleared on my right.  I stepped on the pedal and BAM!  My left bumper hit the light pole.
It wasn’t a major accident. I couldn’t have been going more than 5-10 miles an hour, if that.  My air bag didn’t deploy.  I wasn’t hurt.  I was more surprised than anything, and although I knew that I had scarred the bumper of my brand new car, I didn’t even bother to get out to see the damage. I figured that I’d look at it when I got home.  It couldn’t be that bad.  I was just hurt that my new car didn’t look new anymore.
As I had suspected, the paint was rubbed off of my bumper and there was a small gash above it. I figured that I could pay for the damage out of pocket and not contact my insurance company. It couldn’t be more than the $500 deductible that I’d have to pay anyway.  Well, was I in for a surprise! By the time the estimate came back to me it was over $3,000.  All I could do was laugh. Was this a joke?  I discovered quickly that it was not.
What I found out was that the car that I was driving was the joke.  It was explained to me that the cars these days were made out of plastic and the thing that I called a bumper really wasn’t a bumper. They don’t make many cars with bumpers anymore.  Cars made out of steel were a thing of the past.  The man at the Collision Center told me that:  “Everything is plastic these days.”
Later I thought about what he said and realized that he was absolutely right.  I’ve lived long enough to be driving a plastic car, put my groceries in plastic shopping bags, drink my milk and juice out of plastic jugs, which I pour into plastic cups. I can eat off of plastic dishes, with plastic knives and forks.  The toys that I buy for my great-grandchildren are all plastic and most of the purchases that I make are made with a plastic credit card.   Just about everything around me these days that is manmade is made out of plastic and worst of all, every day I speak to plastic people who show no emotions for others, and things are not getting better.
Usually I try to get too serious in these little messages that I write, but I can’t find one thing amusing about what’s happened.  As I watch my great-grandchildren and their friends sit before plastic computer screens every day for hours with little human interaction, I can only see things growing worse.  Real is becoming a thing of the past, and pretty soon that will become a plastic memory.  Lord am I grateful to have lived in that past, because you see a plastic world just is not for me.   Now you can muse on that.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Hello, its Bea here and I have a question for you.  Have you noticed that everything is smarter these days?  There are smart houses, smart cars, and smart phones; just about everything is smarter.  It seems that as inanimate things get smarter, people seem to get dumber by the minute.  Somebody has to be inventing these things so there must be a small pocket of smart people out there.  I think most of them are advertisers.
Take my cell phone, no really, I wish someone would take my cell phone.  It constantly sends my text messages to the wrong contact people.  It randomly dials numbers in my contact list.  It cuts off calls—before I even dial!  It purposely refuses to disconnect when I finish a call, causing me to be overheard saying unflattering things about people.  Of course, I then have to pretend that I knew they were listening and the whole thing was a joke. 
The other day I was thinking about a friend who lives in California.  The phone dialed her!  I hadn’t touched the phone.  It was laying on the car seat beside me and I heard her voice saying hello. 
This phone is very sensitive to touch.  It was three months before I learned to control my breathing because, if I so much as breathed on an application, it connected me. Once the smart-ass phone connected me to the internet so many times that I needed to recharge after only one hour of use! 
I’ve been using the telephone since I was five years old.   The device is for talking to people who are not close at hand.  I f I wanted to send a written message, I’d write a letter.  If I wanted to get on the internet, I’d go to a computer where the screen is big enough that I don’t have to squint with one eye to see it.  I have a perfectly good radio, so I don’t want to listen to music on my phone, or play games.
Now this is the part that shows how dumb people are getting.  If all I wanted to do was talk, why didn’t I just get a plain dial-and-talk phone instead of a “smart” phone?  Not likely. Everyone made me think I needed that phone.   People told me that if I was driving alone and got lost, I could use the GPS; if I ran into trouble or just had a flat tire, I could call for help; and  in case of an emergency I could reach 911.  The list of reasons goes on and on.  I had to have that phone!  If not, I would be at the mercy of every calamity known to man and would be cut off from civilization without a life line. I became completely paranoid. I felt that I had no choice but to get the latest technology had to offer.   The only thing is, I hate that phone!
I’m not the only dummy who fell for all the hype.  It started out with advertisers making business people think that they needed a mobile phone to keep them connected to their busy lives.  Soon everyone wanted to look like the busy executive on the go but who was still taking care of business.  Then they convinced everyone else of the “joy” of staying connected.  What do we really have to say that is that important?  The clincher was when pay phones began to disappear so that you felt you had no choice but to have a cell phone.
We dummies that let smart phones run our lives shouldn’t all feel bad.  Sometimes we rebel.  I know recently I refused to listen to my GPS when it tried to navigate me into a river. Why in the world would I keep going when the voice on the GPS said to turn right and I was looking at a large body of water?  Unfortunately some people would follow that GPS voice into hell. That’s how bad it’s gotten.
What’s even worse, many of us dummies are posting all our personal business on social networking sites.  Now we realize that thanks to smart web sites, we have no personal business. Now that’s something to muse on.