Don’t Worry, Be Happy

www.mirror.co.uk

 

Looking around America today one could easily believe that the end of life, as we know it, is at hand.

Hackers, scams, corruption, addiction, abuse, bullying, and fake news have become daily insults  to our  sensibilities.

And that’s just in Washington, D.C.

The rest of the country particularly the fly-over region, although more stable, still has its issues and challenges.

Crime, shootings, drought, floods, tornadoes, snow and ice storms.

The Packers lost the NFL championship game-again.

We’ve seen worse, much worse.

Our parents and grandparents lived through “The War to End All Wars,” with its meat grinder of trench warfare and mustard gas.

Then came The Great Depression when 13-15 million Americans, almost 1/5 of the entire population, were unemployed, hungry or homeless.

Followed by yet another World War that claimed as many as 60 million lives worldwide.

That figure doesn’t include the nearly 6 million Jews, men, women and children that were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany. Places like Dachau, Auschwitz-Birkenau, were part and parcel of Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again, yet and Syria. This latest incursion has been going on for 14 years, with no end in sight.

Even before the 20th Century  our nation endured a great Civil War that threatened to destroy the Union. Casualties on both side came to over 1 million, yet the nation survived and prospered.

Freedom, became a right for everyone. It took another hundred years but exercising those “Civil Rights” eventually became the law of the land.

Now minorities and women hold office in both state and federal government.

If you haven’t forgotten, an African-American, was elected President-twice.

Over the last year and a half (just check Facebook) a divisive, contested Presidential Election took place amid charges of sexual abuse, voter fraud, and the release of top secret e-mails.

Racial strife and distrust is at a level not seen in decades. Police and Blacks are at war in many of our cities.

And yet, millions of Americans woke up this morning, went to jobs and school, took care of their families and kept on living their lives.

They fell in love, had babies and talked to their neighbors.

We made it through a week without football.

 10 Ways to  stay focused on the brighter side of life.

1) Yesterday 153 thousand  people in the world died. Be thankful you weren’t one of them.

2) Everyday in America people we know and love are diagnosed with a terminal illness or become victims of a tragedy. Again, if that’s not you, move ahead two spaces.

3) If you are able, physically and mentally to care for yourself, find work that puts food on the table and provides for a roof over your head, be thankful. A half million people in the US are homeless.

4) If you have a family, parents who are together, siblings that care for one another, consider yourself lucky. Many don’t.

5) There are things beyond our control and understanding. Regardless of our education, position or wealth, we  don’t have all the answers. Sometimes the only answer is, “I don’t know.”

6) Every 24 hours we have the opportunity to make someone else’s day a little better. Tell a bad joke, appreciate a sunset, make faces at a baby.

7) Realize that everyday won’t be perfect. Things will go wrong. Tomorrow is another opportunity to do better.

8) Humor helps. Laugh often, at yourself. Why just the other day I admitted to being wrong about something. My wife hasn’t been the same since.

9) Don’t be afraid to ask for help, from family, friends, professionals. No one can go it alone. Have at least one person to trust, confide in, to laugh or cry with.

10) God is real. Have faith.

 

Eating Isn’t Everything…..

Back in the day when watching the Packers play football and things got stressful (which was every week) I would drink adult beverages, chain smoke and pace.

Now I eat, and pace.

The table was set, in more ways than one.

Family arrived, the aroma of homemade chili filled the room. Wings were in the oven. Chips and salsa, crackers and cheese with a birthday cake to boot.

I started out slow. You know, just an afternoon cup of coffee with a piece of kringle, getting ready to enjoy the game.

After Green Bay failed to score on the first (a missed field goal) and then the second drive, I headed back to the kitchen for bruschetta and toast with some nachos.

When the Falcons scored a second time, I hit the salsa and chips.

Our usually sure handed fullback Ripkowski, fumbled.

I headed for the buffet. Cheese and crackers, more salsa and chips.

Going into half time down by twenty-four.

Chili, with beans, onions and cheese, over spaghetti noodles.

Washed it down with a soda.

The Packers finally scored but time was running out in the third quarter. I needed some jalapeño curds and the spicy salsa.

My taste buds numbed.

More chili with a brat and sauerkraut. Another soda.

During a Geico Insurance commercial we mumbled ‘Happy Birthday’ to Sam and Christine. Ate ice cream cake.

About the time the “Pack” was running out of gas, I had plenty.

By the fourth quarter, I couldn’t watch any longer but continued to eat anyway.

Pacing and eating, eating and pacing.

Others were just sitting there like zombies, waiting for the hours-like-minutes to drag by.

My plate was empty.

The chili was gone. Noodles and beans were all that was left-topped with bruschetta.

On the way out the door I filled my pockets with cookies for the ride home.

One more game to watch just to see who the Packers might have played had they not lost.

My stress level came down, to three cookies and a cup of tea. Followed by chips.

Then it was the late news with post game show and a recap bowl of ice cream.

It wasn’t always this way. Football was simply entertainment until I married into a clan with season tickets.

Sunday afternoons were spent in the living room with family, the Packers and popcorn.

That was thirty-two years ago.

We survived the “Plan B” strike teams and the Bears of the 80’s along with the “Cardiac Pack” and playoff losses to the Cowboys.

I remember the pleasure of taunting Jerry Jones from the visitor sidelines in 1997.

We enjoyed the first Super Bowl wins since Lombardi.

So now I eat and pace and cheer for the real “America’s Team.”

The Green Bay Packers!

The odds of the Packers winning the Super Bowl next year have yet to be determined.

The odds of me losing the weight I gained over the last 18 games-slim  to none.

 

 

 

Rated “R” For Mature

Sex After Sixty or, How in the World Did We Ever Do That?

Noted therapists and social scientists all agree that there is no reason to stop having sex as we age. In fact, most older couples have more intimacy as they get older because of fewer obligations and stresses from earlier child rearing years.

An aging celebrity was asked once if sex was okay after seventy. She replied, “as long as he takes a shower and leaves his teeth in.”

It’s a given that certain movements become more difficult due to the physical limitations that aging brings.

Like, rolling over.

It has been said that sex is 90% mental and 10% physical. Yeah but it’s the physical that makes for a better story.

When we were young and only had a double bed, we were always close. Now with a queen size it takes that much longer just to find each other.

With the technology of an adjustable bed it could take another five minutes just to get on a level (pun intended) playing field.

I can remember having sex in our old Volkswagen.

No, I lied. We never owned a Volkswagen.

Passion often gives way to logistics. Getting from point A to point B with the least amount of effort.

Moving around was never a problem thirty or forty (or even two) years ago.

Now there’s that pesky hip or knee replacement. Shoulder joints that don’t move without making lots of creaking and popping sounds.

The CPAP machine is a definite mood killer.

An orthopedic bed might be helpful.  One that comes with a trapeze bar and Hoyer lift.

Our pillow talk goes something like this.

“Want to mess around? What? Want to mess around? I don’t know, maybe after the sports. But I should take a shower. It’s getting kind of late for that isn’t it. Yeah, 9:30. Tomorrow  is Tuesday.”

Later. “No, not that way. My arm doesn’t bend like that. Remember? Oh, yeah. Maybe sideways. Wait, too hard to breathe. Okay, that works. Here we go. That’s nice.”

“Cramp!”

They say that experimentation is helpful to keep things interesting. By the time we get around to repeating the experiment we forget where we left off.

The Kama Sutra is just a bunch of confusing pictures. The only position  we can come close to trying is something we call, “a variation of the clasping, inverted crab with reciprocal sight of posteriors, yawning.”

There really is no such thing as ED. It’s a mental thing. Somewhere between my hypothalamus and….the neurons sometimes get confused.

Cialis has never worked for me. I Couldn’t get out of the tub.

“Wow, okay that was nice. Let’s do that again sometime. Remember that time in the hot tub at the Holiday Inn in Schaumburg? Or was it Oklahoma City?” Maybe it wasn’t a hot tub at all.”

“Zzzzzzzz.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putin Sends “Thank You” to Donald Trump

 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with the FBI, as part of its investigation into Russian influence on the US election, has uncovered an e-mail link from the Kremlin to Trump Tower.

The unclassified 25 page summary report known as a “Joint Analysis Report” (JAR) released by the US intelligence community only confirmed what government officials suspected all along-that Russia had gained access to our government cyber system through the use of malware, trolling and fake websites linked by e-mails through proxy servers.

The United States is not the only country targeted by Russian cyber operatives. The USA Today reported that Ukraine, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, France and Austria have also fallen victim to hacking “aimed at influencing election results, sowing discord and undermining faith in public institutions that included government agencies, the media and elected officials.”

Although there was no identified link between the two leaders, Putin and Trump, there was evidence not officially disclosed that showed how Russian hackers through a campaign known as “Grizzly Steppe,” was able to infiltrate US Government agencies, including the Democratic National Committee (DNC)and Clinton advisor, John Podesta, at least as far back as 2014.

Attempts to infiltrate American cyber infrastructure have been a continuous threat under the direction of the Russian Federal Security Services (FSB) the successor to the KGB, once led by Vladimir Putin.

The KGB had previously undertaken efforts to infiltrate our election system going back to the Carter Administration in the 70’s.

Under code names such as “Advanced Persistent Threat” (APT 29) and its counterpart, APT 28, illegally obtained information such as account names, passwords and content that was passed on through the Russian based television network (RT) and then to Julian Assange and Wiki leaks.

The Obama Administration pointed out in October 2016 that not only the Russians but others are continually trying to hack into our systems and that it’s another constant threat that needs to be addressed.

The President Elect, of course, has criticized and expressed doubt of the department’s ability to identify and corroborate evidence of the Russian government’s efforts to take over our democratic election process.

He then changed his tune and admitted that although Russia, China and others continually try to gain access to our government records, activities and now it appears, our elections, he denies having sent or received any e-mails to or from the Russian leader.

Trump went on to say that the Republican National Committee (RNC) had previously reported hacking attempts but those were not successful because the RNC “had strong hacking defenses.”

Putin’s message?

“Thanks, I couldn’t have done it without you.”

#VP, #Putin

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

 

Packers Win! Packers Win!

The Green Bay Packers have just won another NFC North Division Title.

Ho hum.

With that comes a chance to host the New York Giants in a Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field.

Been there. Done that.

One again they have overcome the adversity of injuries, games poorly played and a 4-6 early season record only to embark on a six-game winning streak to defeat the Detroit Lions for the Division Title.

Big deal.

The Green Bay Packers have won eight playoff berths in a row under the coaching of Mike McCarthy with Ted Thompson as General Manager.

So?

Packer fans have been so spoiled.

I remember a Christmas Eve in 1989 while watching (I think it was ‘A Muppets’ Christmas’) with the kids, the show was interrupted by “Breaking News” of the Packers returning from a victorious road game.

All were anxiously waiting for the back door chance of a wild card spot. The scenarios put forth included something about the moon falling from the sky.

Needless to say, it didn’t happen, resulting in yet another “Close but no cigar,” season.

Those days, one would hope are gone forever. But maybe not.

The current Green Bay Packer reign began in 2006 and hasn’t begun to decline just yet.

Another silver trophy with Vince Lombardi’s name on it is the only way to cement the Thompson-McCarthy-Rodgers era.

One that could very well end soon with aging, injury prone stars.

During the “Super Bowl Years” defined as beginning in 1967, the Pack remains behind the pack of world champions.

Pittsburgh is number one claiming 6 Lombardi Trophies, followed by the 49ers and Dallas with 5 each.

Green Bay rounds out third place along with New England and the Giants (4 each).

Yeah, playoffs are nice but the real prize of being the top dog, is still just a little out of reach.

Clinching a playoff game has become something akin to a participation trophy.

The Packers do lead the league in playoffs since 1990. Eighteen of those twenty-six seasons have resulted in playoff appearances (through 2015).

Those 18 playoff seasons resulted in 3 trips to the Super Bowl and 2 silver trophies.

That’s it.

The team that has consistently outpaced the Packers during the most recent contests are, the New England Patriots with 17 playoffs, 5 trips to the Super Bowl and 4 Lombardi Trophies.

Then there’s Dallas who (since 1990) has played in the big game three times and won each one.

Another “highly successful head coach” Andy Reid, was fired by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012 after amassing a record of 130-93 with one conference title and six division wins.

They made the playoffs eight times and reached the big game once, and lost.

This fan’s angst is fueled by the reality that Hall of Fame Quarterbacks and Lombardi Trophies don’t come along everyday and the odds of that happening (for Green Bay) are like, once every sixteen years.

None of us are getting any younger.