Share Your World (1 June 2020)

Monday. Melanie over at Sparks From A Combustible Mind has released a fresh batch of Share Your World questions. This week, she asks:

Is it ever okay to commit a crime?  Please explain.

Okay, define “crime”.

I think we all have a sense of right and wrong. Within that, we should try to do right. I think that society as a whole has sense of right and wrong. It lists the wrongs, it calls them laws.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that by far the majority of society’s laws make sense. In other words, our moral compasses coincide with each other.

In those areas where our compasses do not coincide, mine take precedence. So, in that sense, I have no guilt in committing a “crime” (as defined by society) if it goes against my compass. I can imagine that society might have a problem with that.

I suspect most people are like me, willing to go along with most of the rules because they make sense. I guess the bigger problem comes when somebody is not. For example, when somebody thinks that murder is acceptable.

Do you deal with change well?  (not money, because I know some wit out there is thinking how bulky coins are. Well I did any how.    ) 

Actually the other version of the question is more informative. I used to sift out my change, and only put coins of GBP1 and GBP2 back into my purse. The reason? I can’t really tell the difference between the smaller coins. Well, I can, but I need time and light. So I used to put smaller coins into a jar, periodically bag them up and take them to the bank. I can’t do that any more because they closed the bank branch. So now, I mostly just throw the smaller coins away. Another example where living a disabled life is more expensive…

On to the real point of the question, I’m actually very good with change. Working in technology demands it. A new approach to do this or that. Initially, for the first few weeks, there was this feeling of oh, shit, what have I got myself into? That gradually got replaced by a smugness as I realised that I was a lot more familiar with something than most everybody else. In fact, that’s how I earned my living. The next technology, the loop would start over.

Sometimes I could blag the oh, shit moment, but mostly it paid to be honest. Clients understood that it was new territory all round, although they were looking to me to learn and to take the lead.

On political change, I think it is necessary, so I think there has to be change, evolution. But we have a responsibility to properly think through changes, to get them right. Did the guy who decided to close the bank branch realise it would fuck customers up, for example? Actually, that’s probably a bad example – I’m sure they knew full well and that it didn’t matter one bit.

I’m using the Block Editor to write this post, by the way.

Do you like birds?   The sound of bird song in the morning, taking pictures of them, as food?   

I used to be a keen photographer and enjoyed photographing birds, among other things. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to drive fifty-odd miles if the fancy took me. This was on a visit to a town called Blandford Forum in Dorset, where the draw was kingfishers and otters. I was lucky enough to see both.

In addition I could sit for hours at the big window in my house, with long lens, waiting for winter birds to visit our feeders.

I tend not to eat birds. It has been known, but mostly I am vegetarian now. I got squeamish about eating chicken ever since we kept our own hens. Hens are wonderful creatures, but given half a chance will shit on the kitchen floor.

I do quite like birdsong, but boy, it is loud at the moment.

What’s the least used item of clothing you own?

To be honest, lots of my old clothing is unused now. It’s a shame, because it is nice stuff, too.

For one, the stroke engendered a feeling of can’t be bothered in many things, including what I wear. For another, I was a size S at the time of the stroke, and am easily an XL now. I can’t do laces any more, so most of my old shoes are out. I have some workarounds.

These days I have a circuit of maybe a half-dozen tops, two pairs of trousers. Undies and socks I still just use as before. I just cycle through these clothes, washing them every ten days or so. I have two coats, one for summer and one for winter. I’m not really interested in anything more. Mostly I live in loungewear anyway.

If you care to share, what are you grateful for?  

I had a row with my wife and we haven’t spoken to each other since Saturday afternoon. I am grateful for the peace and quiet.


Share Your World (25 May 2020)

Monday. Melanie over at Sparks From A Combustible Mind has released a fresh batch of Share Your World questions. This week, she asks:

In your opinion, does patriotism require the belief that one’s country is the greatest on earth?

Let me change a couple words here.

belief becomes desire,

greatest on earth becomes best it can possibly be (which might well boil down to the same thing).

Now we have maybe got ourselves a deal. Yes, absolutely. And so I applaud people who can look at something, can see its faults, and are prepared do something about it to make things better (even just drawing attention to the problem is doing something). People like JFK, Martin Luther King, Billie Jean King, come to that – because equality means gender equality too.

Last Friday Fandango posted about Colin Kaepernick. Him, too. When somebody might get shot for leaving their home, by somebody supposed to be upholding the law, it’s worth shouting from the rooftops.

Why is patriotism considered by some to be the highest of virtues? What is so important about love of country? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about humankind, or the planet as a whole, rather than a single country?

Yes. And when the patriots have succeeded in their own country, they should look outside of it. Right is right, wrong is wrong, a border is just an imaginary line.

What is the relationship between decisions and consequences?

The relationship can be different depending on circumstances. Understanding that there *is* a relationship is a good start.

What is social justice?

The relationship between the individual and society.

and one ‘easy’ one because those others?  Fairly difficult.

What’s one body part you wouldn’t mind losing? (told you.  Silly).

My balls. Children? Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it.

What is something that made you smile during the past week?

The Eighties music channel made me cringe. That is almost the same thing, these days.

Share Your World (18 May 2020)

Monday. Melanie over at Sparks From A Combustible Mind has released a fresh batch of Share Your World questions. This week, she asks:

What’s something you really resent paying for?

Taxes. Well. I don’t resent paying them, I resent that each year I pay them, they go up, like 10%, and I get less in return. Not so very long ago, I had my garden waste carted away for no additional cost on top of my standard tax (I’m careful not to say “for free”). Now I have to pay extra for it. Recently, they “rationalised” our recycling collection so we are forced to put more types of waste into our recycling bin, with the consequence that the recycling bin isn’t really big enough to fit everything. They have just introduced a new entry scheme at our local dump. They say the idea is to practise social distancing, but actually a side-effect is that the scheme tracks your address. Preparation, I am sure, for when the bill lands on your doormat for how many times you visited the tip this last month. One of the things you will hear people complain about in the UK is how much illegal tipping (just leaving stuff by the side of the road) has increased in the last 10 years – I wonder why?

On the national scale, when the NHS was founded, our payments included prescriptions, too. But that cost burden was passed directly onto the taxpayer (without actually asking the taxpayer), to cover the cost, at the time, of the Korean War.

In my own childhood, the NHS also used to cover the cost of dentistry and eyewear – nothing special, but your basic pair of glasses (remember John Lennon?). My last pair cost me GBP550 (maybe USD700), it will be my last ever. My eyesight literally cannot afford to change.

 What was the most unsettling film you’ve seen?

I’m not so hot on films any more, I’ll watch them on TV but normally, by then, I know the story. In any case, I’m unlikely to want to concentrate for the duration of the film nowadays – I have better things to do. I did go to the cinema to see Downton Abbey last summer, but that was hardly unsettling. I can’t even remember what it was about except that it had the very unlikely plot of an Irish Nationalist saving the UK king’s life. Please… We went to see one of the Terminators after the stroke, but that was just very dark and very loud. It must have been the one where Arnie plays an old fart.

I remember when they came out, I happened to be living in London so watched both Platoon and Hamburger Hill in plush west-end cinemas. Those films were unsettling because of both their realism and that I’d have been about the same age as the boys in them.

Schindler’s List is another one. Or years ago, The Killing Fields, or Cry Freedom. You know, something where at the end, you’re saying to yourself, fuck me, did that really happen? I can quite easily put fiction in a box marked “not real”, but when something depicts real events, is a different matter.

Do you judge people?  

Of course. Don’t we all? I live life according to my rules, and I can’t help but notice when somebody lives according to different rules. But what works for me might not work for them, and vice-versa. Everybody chooses their route through life.

I don’t think I have the right to preach to them that my rules are better than theirs, or to vary how I behave toward them. If they have decided on a different path, so be it. My truth in no truer than theirs.

Finish this sentence:  “Back in my day, we…”?

Talking of old farts, I’ll duck that one.

Please feel free to share an uplifting photo, thought or meme to show your own gratitude.   We can all use some good vibes!  

I’ve about shared my gratitude in previous posts, but how about being glad that in the week that I clipped my hair back to nothing, being grateful that we are promised midweek temperatures of 27°C ( that is just north of 80F).

In fact I have just come in from the garden, where I had a fat-free. sugar-free strawberry yoghurt for after my lunch (I like to talk about food but you should see the crap I normally get to eat) , and I felt very overdressed!

Or, how about being grateful that the relative I met a few years ago on Facebook actually lives 10,000 miles away, and we will never actually meet? Because… well, let’s just be diplomatic and say that if we did meet, we wouldn’t get on very well. I bet we all have some family like that!