Wherein I expound on employer/employee relationships

Out for a stroll
Out for a stroll

I took this picture a couple of days ago, during our short break from the rain. The rain is bad enough, flooding and all, but today I went out and found that there was snow mixed with the rain. Even I am ready for spring to stick around for a while. The leaves have popped out on the trees, the daffodils and grape hyacinth and tulips have bloomed, and our grass needs cut. So…snow?

***

We had a couple of fortune cookies left over from when we ordered Chinese the other night. Cindy doesn’t like them…the cookies, not the fortunes. I ate one of them as a snack yesterday. The fortune was, “You will soon discover your hidden talent.” It must be well hidden, because I’m sixty-five and haven’t discovered it yet. I hope it is something exciting.

***

Do you get tired of people on television, political, talk shows saying that we have to do things that are good for business because those things are good for the country in general? I do. While I am not anti-business, I do believe that business is only part of the equation. I’m not sure that business is even half of the equation. Consider: As I see it, today’s corporations are merely jumped up merchants who are in business to make a profit. Too often, they believe that one way to stretch profits is to employ labor at the least cost to themselves, whether that is in wages or benefits. That is a short-sighted approach because benefits such as health care, or vacations, benefit both employees and employers. In the long run, an employee who is healthy and rested mentally from a vacation is going to be more productive. If they have another benefit, a retirement plan, they are more likely to stay with an employer, saving the employer costs in training new workers.

I would posit that what is good for the employee is good for the employer in the long run. Government needs to be looking out for the worker more than for the business. At least that’s the way I look at it.

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Chinese – Blind – Senator

Another rainy day in Lafayette
Another rainy day in Lafayette

I took this picture through our front window yesterday. I was tired of going outside and getting wet without the benefit of a bar of soap. I had been out twice already, and didn’t stop feeling damp until early evening.

I started working on this post four days ago, but never finished it. I’ve changed the picture twice, and changed my mind about the topic(s) more than that. I may change my mind again before I post this.

***

The last time we ate Chinese food, my fortune cookie was a bit philosophical. it said, “There can be no existence of evil as a force to the healthy-minded individual.” There was also printing on the other side of the slip (a first for me) that said, LEARN CHINESE – Cook [a Chinese symbol] (zuò) [a Chinese symbol] (cài). I believe the symbols are called hanzi, but don’t quote me on that. I tried looking them up but I confess to failure. The first symbol looked a lot like one I found that translated into NATIONAL. The second one looked like DENGUE FEVER. I’m pretty sure that was not what was on the fortune. Oh, my lucky numbers were 41, 35, 33, 44, 20, 52. The quote on the first side was from William James, though he received no attribution on the fortune slip. I don’t know if we will be ordering food from this restaurant in the future.

***

A wink’s as good a nod to a blind man. That is a quote from something I saw on TV, or on a DVD, I’m not sure which. I only remember jotting it down because I liked it. I seem to remember that it was spoken by some unsavory character to another, more unsavory, character in whatever I was watching. I had never heard the saying before, so I Googled it, and found that it was a borrowed from an older, 17th century, English saying, “A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.”  I like that. I just wish I could remember what I was watching that started this whole train of thought and exploration.

***

To go along with the phrases and quotes I’ve already mentioned, there is one more, taken from one of my favorite TV shows from the 80’s, Robin of Sherwood. I thought of it when I heard the news about the Senate’s vote on gun safety the other day, and that one of my senator’s voted against it. The quote is,  “Nothing is ever forgotten.” Dan Coats won’t be running again soon, but when he does, that vote will not be forgotten.

Round Barns and other stuff

Round Barn in Fulton County
Round Barn in Fulton County

Cindy and I went for a long drive yesterday. It was sunny and in the seventies. It was a beautiful day for a drive. The only bad news was that the museum we were going to visit was closed. I am sure that one day we will return to the round barn and museum when it is open to the public.

I once read that round barns were built so that the devil couldn’t back you into a corner in the barn. I like that story, but it isn’t mentioned in the Wikipedia entry for round barns.

***

Here is something I don’t understand: people who post pictures of food from someone’s website, or of food they are about to eat. I suppose that if I had prepared the food and that I thought it looked appealing I might be tempted to take a picture and post it on Facebook. On the other hand, Facebook and other social media sites that we frequent are what we want them to be. I suppose that is the reason I spend so much time hiding the content that other people post. I have a sneaking suspicion that they hide a lot of the things that I post as well. Still…I wonder about other people. Am I the only sane person here?

I almost gave in to temptation the other day when I came close to posting a link to a segment of Rachel Maddow’s program to my Facebook page. I have been doing better about not posting links to TV commentary disguised as news. I will still post articles from newspapers and magazines, inflammatory as they may be, but people need to practice their reading skills, so I do it as a public service.  I am all heart…and mind…I used to be all private parts, but now it is heart…and mind.

Well. I’ve put down enough words today. Have a happy.

Musical liks

Kara & Kathryn 2008
Kara & Kathryn 2008

I took this picture in 2008. These two young women are a couple of my favorite friends. The sad thing is that I seldom see either of them anymore. Kara is now married and has a young son. Kathryn lives and works a distance from here. I miss them both.

***

As I sit here at the keyboard, hunting and pecking out words, sentences and paragraphs I’m listening to Sam Bush through my headphones. I’ve been listening to him over the years since I first heard a New Grass Revival song on an album of performances from a Telluride festival. I was drawn to the album by the cover art and a need to listen to something new. I recently started following Sam on Twitter in hopes of a notification that he would be playing in the area. No such luck yet. This morning I went to the Internet Archives Digital Library and downloaded his performance at the 2012 Merlefest. That’s what I’m listening to right now. I know I’ll be going back to that site and downloading more performances.

It’s interesting how listening to one performer can lead you to others. I bought the original that original Telluride album because there were cuts on it by Doc & Merle Watson as well as Norman Blake. That album led me to The New Grass Revival, Hot Rize, and Peter Rowan. From the New Grass Revival I started listening to Sam Bush and Bela Fleck. Hot Rize caused me to start listening to Tim O’Brien. And then there was Peter Rowan who made me look back and find an album by Old & In The Way which led me to David Grisman and Vassar Clements.

Jerry Garcia was also a member of the Old & In The Way, so there was a connection to The Grateful Dead. I’ve never been a huge fan of The Dead, but if you are, there is huge catalog of downloadable concerts on Internet Archives Digital Library. The URL for that site is: http://archive.org/index.php.

Pretty Music

Joe McCormick, August 1962
Joe McCormick, August 1962

This is another picture that I took at Region 7 Canoe Base in Wisconsin. Joe McCormick was my best friend in high school, but we drifted apart shortly after I went to school at IU. When he couldn’t get into the military because of ruptured ear drums he left Rolling Prairie and moved out of state. I believe he tried to enlist a few times in other locations, but could never pass the physical. He moved back to Indiana but by the time I finished school and had served my time in the army, we never reconnected.

***

I chose another song for my farewell CD. That’s the one I’m planning for when I die. Don’t worry, that will be far in the future. It’s just that you sometimes have to plan ahead. Actually, I doubt if many people will still be using CDs by the time I kick off. I need to have something in a number of formats for that eventuality. I’ll probably also have pictures and videos in the final product.

The song I added today is Along The Road by Doc & Merle Watson. It is a Dan Fogelberg song, and I also like his version, but the Doc & Merle version is the first I remember hearing. If you don’t want to wait until I’m gone, you can hear it at this URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68VbE6ve-DE.

I’ve been choosing songs for that final CD for a number of years. I usually give it thought after attending a funeral or showing where there is music playing. I decided early on that I would choose the music and have it ready for presentation. My problem is that never think to right down my imagined play list, so I seldom have more than a few songs in mind.

Other songs that I know I want are Sea Borne Clouds by The Time Ware Group which can be heard at: http://www.last.fm/music/Tim+Ware/_/Seaborne+Clouds. I also want Ashokan Farewell written by Jay Unger…here’s a link to that song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kZASM8OX7s. The last song that I remember being on my list is The City Is Crying by the Dave Brubeck Quartet; you can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KKmtSv2Auo.

Now that I’ve listened to all of theses songs again today, I realize that I need more that have lyrics. These songs will stay, but I need to start looking through my music collection for other music.

Region 7 and James Moody

From stern to bow: Bob Russell, Bob McLeland, and Tom Wheatbrook
From stern to bow: Bob Russell, Bob McLeland, and Tom Wheatbrook

I took this photo in August of 1962 with a Kodak Fiesta camera at Region 7 Canoe Base in Wisconsin. It was one of the two trips our Explorer Scout Post took to Region 7. My memory was telling me that I took the picture with an Instamatic, but they weren’t on the market until 1963, so it must have been a Fiesta. The only reason I know who the people are in the canoe is because I made good notes on the back of the photo.

***

In my post on March 23 I mentioned and album by James Moody titled Hey! It’s James Moody. I said at the time that the album had the effect of making me feel a sense of emptiness, or words to that effect. I downloaded the album from Amazon.com an few days ago and listened to it for the first time in forty-nine years. The first cut on the album (I’m not sure I should use the term cut since it was an MP3) is Stella By Starlight. That was the only song on the album that I remembered by title. It is a little more up-tempo than I remembered, but it is still my favorite tune on the album. However, there was no feeling of emptiness  as I listened. The same was true upon hearing the next song, and the next, and the next. I started wondering if that feeling of emptiness was caused by the sonic qualities of the vinyl disk that I originally owned. By the time I got to the last song, Tali, I decided that I had been wrong about the feeling. But when I listened to Tali I knew where that feeling had come from. For some reason I had identified the empty feeling to the entire album, not just the one song.

It is strange, and somewhat wonderful, that one song can have such a large impact that it stretches over decades.

More about Marlon

Another sign that spring is here
Another sign that spring is here

I took this picture yesterday morning. These are out first flowers of the year. It’s just one more sign that spring is here. Yesterday was also the first time in quite a while that there was a male cardinal feeding in the back yard. We usually have them here in the winter, but I didn’t see any this past year. I’m glad they are here.

***

Marlon was my companion again last night. I stayed up watching TV late last night, hoping that he would fall asleep before I went to bed. It didn’t happen. I went upstairs, followed by Marlon. He wandered around, looking for Cindy while I got into bed around 11 p.m. and turned on The Daily Show. Marlon came into the room and decided to lay down on the floor next to the bed. That was OK with me.

I watched Jon Stewart and then The Colbert Report while Marlon appeared to crash. He wasn’t trying to get me to pet him. Those who have been around him know that it is difficult to be in the same room with him without having him try to get you to pet him. So I assumed he was falling asleep. When I was finished watching I turned off the TV and the bedside light. At that point Marlon stood up and jumped on the bed. He laid down beside me, but was very restless. It was like he was trying to edge me off the side of the bed. I considered sleeping on the floor and letting him have the bed, but I was pretty sure he would follow me to the floor.

I was starting to doze off around 1 a.m. when I felt him stand up in bed, straddle my legs, and start barking at something I could not see nor hear. After barking for about 30 seconds, I couldn’t get him to stop, he jumped off of the bed and went prowling around the upstairs again. After about ten minutes he came back, jumped back on the bed, and settled in beside me again.

Sleep didn’t come easy for me. It was a restless night, I kept waking up every half hour or so, and I could feel Marlon moving around in the bed. I finally gave up and got up around 5:30 this morning. We went downstairs and I let him out into the back yard while I got a cup of coffee and turned on Morning Joe. I let him back in and set back down to watch. Marlon went into the living room, curled up in my chair and fell fast asleep. He slept so soundly that he didn’t even notice when I opened the refrigerator door to get the butter out for my toast. That is not like him.

I only hope I can get a bit more sleep tonight.