PAINT LICK —
Last Saturday was my birthday and somehow the word got out.
For the first time since I opened an email account over 16 years ago, my mail box was full on Sunday morning.
I’m not sure how AOL goes about allocating mail box space, but I do know that 516 birthday cards, mostly generated by Facebookers, is all that mine will hold.
If you tried to send me email over the week-end and got a message suggesting that I am not very responsible about tending to my email account, you now know the rest of the story.
The truth of the matter is that email is my lifeline. I confess to ignoring it for a few hours last Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, but I never expected that everybody I know and a huge bunch of people I don’t know would take it upon themselves to send me email birthday greetings.
I asked Loretta what I’m supposed to do about this, and she suggested I simply write a thank you note and paste it on my Facebook page.
I told her I didn’t know how to do that, because the only thing I ever use Facebook for is to look at the latest pictures of my grand kids.
I “post” stuff only when I get a Facebook generated email to which I can respond by simply hitting the “reply” button on my regular email.
I am not interested in why the baby is crying nor about recent excursions to Walmart. It matters not at all to me that the meat loaf you made for supper last night gave hubby gas and that he kept you awake all night.
So that’s why I don’t spend much time on Facebook. I have neither the time nor inclination to scroll through a ton of idle gossip to find the occasional bit of news worth knowing.
I do belong to three Facebook “groups” that allow me to see posts on straight email without ever having to go to the site.
Anyway, in regards to responding to birthday cards, another friend advised me that protocol demands that I personally thank every person who sent me a birthday email, so I spent the better part of Sunday doing just that.
Sunday evening, my double first cousin Babs who lives in Richmond fixed a birthday dinner for me and also invited Loretta, my best pal Ralph King and his girlfriend Cathy.
Babs can do some serious cooking! Easily the best, juiciest and most tender pot roast I have ever tasted served with broccoli, cauliflower, taters, carrots and sweet corn with a big pone of corn bread baked in a cast iron skillet straight from the oven, topped off with coffee and sugar-free banana pudding.
I ate way too much, but thank Heaven, I only have one birthday every year. Figuring that Babs will cook for me again next January is huge incentive to guard my health and live to celebrate another.
And now, just to prove I can, when Loretta gets home, I’m gonna have her post this column on my Facebook page.
I haven’t had any hate mail in a long while and I’m commencing to feel left out.
And I figure that I can also give some people with way too much time on their hands something else to gossip about.
PAINT LICK —
Last Saturday was my birthday and somehow the word got out.
SOAR-ing in eastern Kentucky
By the time many of you read this, I’ll be traveling to southeastern Kentucky, on my way to the SOAR Summit scheduled for Monday in Pikeville (at least if the weather cooperates).
I’ll be listening to WMMT radio out of Whitesburg, the world’s most eclectic radio station. I’ll be among those magic mountains and with the wonderful people who live in the region and others who don’t but still love it.
If you don’t know eastern Kentucky, get rid of your stereotypes right now. Yes, there are poor, ignorant people in eastern Kentucky — just as there are in New York City, San Francisco or London, England.
Farming Misunderstood and Under-appreciated
As you look at your (I hope) full plate this Thanksgiving, take a guess at what percentage of your annual income you spend on food.
Whatever you guessed, you probably guessed too high.
“We pay as low as 6 percent,” Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture, tells me at a conference table in his office. “In most other industrialized countries, it’s 20-25 percent.”
And if you were spending that much on food in America, Vilsack asks, “how big a house would you have? How nice a car?”
Recalling the day JKF died
This is written on the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. A year ago I demonstrated my exquisite sense of timing: I wrote my personal remembrance of that dark day in Dallas last year on the 49th anniversary of the horrific events in Dealey Plaza.
Is the pipeline to career advancement broken?
“Honey, have you checked our financials this month?” An individual asks their spouse.
“Yes, and it’s not looking good. Our investments aren’t growing like we’d hoped, and the healthcare crisis is affecting the premiums and co-pays we’re paying every month,” replies the spouse.
The individual asks another question, “Do you think we’ll ever be able to retire?”
The spouse shakes their head and replies, “It doesn’t appear we’ll have that option anytime soon, especially if we want to maintain the lifestyle we have now.”
Life Lessons from lawyers, journalists and 10 years as a columnist
I have little in common with Walter White, the chemistry teacher turned drug lord in the TV series Breaking Bad, but the line about his motivation hit me.
In the decade that I wrote a weekly column, I touched a lot of lives.
At least one man stopped his planned suicide and got help after reading my column. (I still hear from him and he is doing fine.)
Register columnists share room for a day at Telford rehab center
So here we are, coming to you still alive from Telford Terrace Rehabilitation Center in Richmond where I am recovering from two strokes that kept me in St. Joseph’s Lexington Hospital for the better part of last week.
I was transferred to Telford where I intend to learn to walk again.
Memo to Merkel: Tell Obama to Take a Hike
Chutzpah. I believe that’s the word for it.
Just days after learning the Americans have been tapping her phones and taping her conversations, Angela Merkel has been publicly upbraided by the U.S. Treasury for being a bad global citizen.
What did she do to deserve this?
Congressionally Duped Americans
Last week’s column, “Is There a Way Out?”, generated quite a few responses, some a bit angry. Some people were offended by my reference to Social Security and Medicare as entitlements or handouts. They said that they worked for 45 years and paid into Social Security and Medicare and how dare I refer to the money they now receive as an entitlement. These people have been duped by Congress and shouldn’t be held totally accountable for such a belief. Let’s examine the plethora of congressional Social Security lies. I’ll leave the Medicare lies for another column.
Needed: Consumer-driven reform, not Obamacare
Supporters of the insufferable Obama administration’s misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continue to rope low-information Americans into believing that needed health care reform will be achieved only by a policy like “Obamacare,” which forces healthy individuals to pay for policies filled with services – and costs – they neither want nor need in order to provide lower-cost coverage to the sick.
Does anyone think before speaking?
I wonder sometimes if politicians ever listen to what they’re saying. If it weren’t so depressing, it might be funny.
Start with that maverick, Republican Sen. John McCain, who has of late taken on the tea party members of Congress, calling them “wacko birds” and the government shutdown engineered by people like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee “shameful.” Except for the wacko birds, who would disagree?
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